Seat of the brotherhood of the same name, it houses the relics of San Cristino, to whom the church is entitled . In the single nave, where there was a statue of the “Madonna with Child” attributed to Tino da Camaino, now in the Napoleonic Museum, dominates the marble altar with the eighteenth-century canvas of the “Madonna della Misericordia”. The vault was frescoed in 1765 with the “trompe l’oeil” of a balustrade on which a loggia ending in a false dome is set. The 1850 organ is by Michelangelo Paoli. In a cabinet there is a bronze copy of Napoleon’s mask and the cast of the hand. In 1746 a chapel dedicated to the Virgin of Loreto was opened next to the church to house the statue of the Madonna from the Linguella chapel.
San Cristino, patron saint of Portoferraio
In 65 during the persecution of Nero, San Cristino was martyred, in 1661 the “holy body” was found in the catacomb of Priscilla. The portoferraiese Antonio Vai, belonging to the Confraternity of Mercy, who went by chance to Rome, asked Pope Alexander VII to grant him a ‘holy body’.
The Pontiff satisfied the pious wish and donated the precious relic of S. Cristino to the community of Portoferraio.
Patron of the City of Portoferraio
San Cristino martyr is the patron saint of the city of Portoferraio, whose relics – “holy body” – are preserved and venerated in the church belonging to the Confraternity of Mercy.
The sacred deposit arrived in Portoferrario on April 29, the day which became a patronal feast for the community of Portoferraio . In 1764 Pope Clement XIII accepted the request for the election of San Cristino as patron saint of Portoferrario; in fact the S. Congregation of Rites on 7 April 1764 granted to the feast of S. Cristino, on 29 April, all the privileges concerning the feasts of the main Protectors. With date 9 August 1764, the decree received the approval of the Emperor Francesco I.
On the occasion of the celebrations for the saint, the crypt is generally opened where the relics of San Cristino are kept, and these are exhibited in the church of the archconfraternity and subsequently transferred to the Duomo . Following a religious function and the procession in the streets of the historic center of Portoferraio to bring the urn containing the relics of the Saint back to the church of the Misericordia from whose churchyard the blessing of the city takes place.
Celebrations for the Patron Saint of the City of Portoferraio