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The legend of Saint Gaudentius of Osor

 

          Today there are many preserved legends about the life of St. Gaudentius. It is assumed that he was born on the island Lošinj, accross from Osor, in a small village whose houses and ruins still exist on Osoršćica. He was a follower of St. Romauld. He was also the bishop of Osor from 1018 to 1042. The inhabitants did not like him because he condemned their sins, wanted order and discipline among the clergy and attacked marriages among blood relatives, so he was eventually banished. There are claims that after his persecution he went to Rome and then to Ancona, where he died.   

          The legend says that his temporary shelter was a cave on Osoršćica, which many people still visit today. It is said that St. Gaudentius cursed all poisonous snakes on Cres and Lošinj islands and that there have been no such snakes on the island since. If you visit this cave on Osoršćica and if you take a rock from it, you will be protected from snake bites for the rest of your life. Since there really are no poisonous snakes on Lošinj and Cres, many believe in this legend.

          In the little church named after St. Gaudentius next to the cathedral in Osor, there is a representation of a saint giving blessings with three fingers. But many old people from Cres believe that the representation actually signifies his curse on the immoral inhabitants of Osor. In the church there is another representation of this saint and in its background we see a sailing ship and a snake.

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