St Ilario: patron saint of the town

Parma (PR)

Busto di Sant'Ilario


Bishop St Ilario from Poitiers (315-369) has been the patron saint of Parma since the Middle Ages.

The festivity dedicated to him is celebrated on the day of his death, on the 13 January, by recalling the miracle of his shoes.
According to the story, Ilario was walking through Parma on a winter’s day wearing broken and worn out shoes when a cobbler saw him and, moved to pity, he gave him a new pair of shoes as a gift. The morning after, to his surprise, the old shoes left by Ilario had been replaced by brand new golden shoes.

To celebrate this miracle, on the patron’s festivity shoe shaped biscuits called scarpetta di Sant’Ilario are cooked once a year.