The 2nd of September sees us celebrating the founding of the oldest surviving constitutional republic and a saint’s day. In fact the two are so intertwined the saint and the country share the same name; San Marino.
The Most Serene Republic of San Marino was founded by Saint Marinus who was originally a stonemason from what is now Croatia. He left home to flee persecution for his Christian beliefs and eventually he became a deacon. His problems weren’t quite over though and he was accused by an insane woman of being her estranged husband. Once again he had to move on, so he went to Monte Titano to live as a hermit. He built a chapel and monastery there and was later canonised as a saint.
The State of San Marine
Eventually, the State of San Marino developed around the monastery. Legend has it when, he died in 366 and last words were: "Relinquo vos liberos ab utroque homine" ("I leave you free from both men"), the two men in question are believed to be the Emperor and the Pope. San Marino is about 61km2 or 24 square miles with a population of 32,000, in fact there are said to be more cars than people in this small republic with a big heart.