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Legend of Saint Donat

Saint Donat is considered to be the patron saint of   vineyards and grape growers, so no wonder his name has been popular for centuries in Eger.

Saint Donat, bishop of Arezzo lived in the 4th century AD. His parents died a martyr due to the Christian persecution of emperor Julianus, so the young Donat left the eternal town and learned to be a priest. A lot of miracles are attributed to him, the best known is not surprisingly connected to wine.

It happened once that bishop Donat was having a mass, when the service was disturbed by pagans. During the scrum the bishop dropped the glass chalice which broke into pieces. Thanks to the prayers of Donat the chalice got joined again and the Holy Blood did not flow out of it even though a piece was missing. Seeing it the pagans  got converted, however, it caused anger of many against the bishop and was murdered four weeks after the case.

Saint Donat is also considered to be the patron saint against hail and lightning. The reason of it dates back to a story in the 17th century, which says that more than a thousand after the death of the bishop his relics were transported to Germany. The accompanying priest was struck by lightning on the way but he suffered no injury.

All over the country in many settlements, like Eger as well statues, chapels were erected in his honour where people have prayed for good grape harvest and favourable weather conditions for centuries. No wonder, the most important event, Egri Bikavér (Bull's Blood) festival on Saint Donat's Day is connected to his name.

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