On September 16, Sutri celebrates the day of the death of the patron Saint Dolcissima, the ‘dies natalis’ in which the saint entered into celestial life. Dolcissima was a virgin of Sutri who lived in the third century and not much is known of her history even if her worship has been deeply heart-felt for centuries. The chapel of St. Dolcissima is full of votive offerings of the faithful who thank her for her graces.
On the evening of September 16th, in the streets of Sutri, a solemn procession takes place with the statue of the saint in which the ancient confraternities of the Blessed Sacrament – Santa Croce and the Most Holy Name of Mary take part.
The valuable wooden and silver baroque statue is attributed to the Bernini school and is shown in these days while the rest of the year it is placed in a niche near the cathedral altar and covered with a canvas by the German painter Heinrich Schmidt, painted in 1792. In this vestment the saint is depicted with a palm in her hand and in the background we see the panorama of Sutri.
Other representations of Santa Dolcissima are in a fresco by Luigi Fontana on the vault of the central nave of the cathedral dating from 1892 to 1894. The saint is also in a fresco of the fourteenth century in the church of Santa Maria del Parto.