In 1756, the remains of Santa Costanza were brought to San Donato Val di Comino. She was one of the first Christian martyrs killed with a sword to her throat. The saint became con-patron saint of San Donato and protector from the “fevers”.
The festivities are a re-enactment with popular games of 1700 and 1800, the night vigil, and the eighteenth-century “Santa Costanza Market” dedicated to ‘pieces of pottery and onions’ (Cocci e alle cipolle). The shops of the old town offer a menu based on ancient cipolle and the feast ends with concerts and fireworks. The religious part is a solemn procession with the statue supported by 12 ‘pages’ in eighteenth-century dress. The ceremony of the saint is celebrated on the last Sunday of August.
It must be clear that there is no Santa Costanza in the Book of Saints. The name comes from an inscription in the chest of relics in which was engraved the phrase “Constance in fidem”.
A scientific report has demonstrated that the relics are the remains of a young girl who, perhaps, was chosen as the patroness to have less austere celebrations of San Donato.