Explore the rich historical tapestry of Liberation Day in San Marino, a remarkable journey through freedom and pride.
- Date: February 5th
- Main Components: Civic and religious celebrations, processions, flag hoisting
- Popularity: National holiday and public holiday in San Marino
- Pairings: Feast of St. Agatha, patron saint of San Marino
- Variations: Municipal flags with local coat of arms
Liberation Day in San Marino is a national holiday that commemorates the restoration of the republic’s independence from the occupation of Cardinal Giulio Alberoni in 1740. The holiday also coincides with the Feast of St. Agatha, the patron saint of San Marino, who was a Christian martyr in the 3rd century. Liberation Day is celebrated with various civic and religious events, such as flag hoisting, processions, and ceremonies. The holiday reflects the history and culture of San Marino, as well as its values of freedom, democracy, and peace.
Origin of Liberation Day
Liberation Day dates back to February 5th, 1740, when Pope Clement XII confirmed the rights and privileges of San Marino after its occupation by Cardinal Giulio Alberoni. Alberoni was an Italian cardinal who tried to expand the power base of the Papal States in the region by using military force. He invaded San Marino on October 17th, 1739, and imposed his rule over the republic. The people of San Marino protested against his occupation and appealed to the Vatican for justice. The Pope recognized the sovereignty of San Marino and restored its independence on February 5th, 1740. The day was dedicated to Saint Agatha, the co-patron saint of San Marino, who had been venerated since the medieval era.
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Patron Saint of San Marino
Saint Agatha is one of the most prominent virgin martyrs in the history of Christianity. She was born in Sicily and devoted her life to her faith. She refused to marry a Roman prefect who wanted her to renounce her Christianity. She was tortured and mutilated for her refusal, but remained steadfast in her belief. She died in prison after praying for the end of the persecution. She is considered the patron saint of breast cancer patients, firemen
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Relationship with the Papal States and Italy
San Marino has had a complex and sometimes turbulent relationship with the Papal States and Italy throughout its history. In the Middle Ages, San Marino was part of the Papal States, a collection of territories under the rule of the Pope. San Marino enjoyed a high degree of autonomy and self-government within the Papal States, thanks to its loyalty and cooperation with the Vatican. However, San Marino also faced several threats and challenges from its powerful neighbors, such as invasions, occupations, power struggles, and civil disobedience.
Some notable examples are:
- The invasion of Cesare Borgia, also known as Valentino, in 1503, who tried to conquer San Marino as part of his expansion plans in Italy. He was defeated by a coalition of forces led by Pope Julius II.
- The occupation of Cardinal Giulio Alberoni in 1739, who imposed his rule over San Marino as a legate of Pope Clement XII. He was expelled by a popular uprising supported by other Italian states.
- The power base of Machiavelli in 1513, who used San Marino as a refuge and inspiration for his famous treatise on political leadership, The Prince. He also wrote several letters to the Sammarinese government, praising their republic and offering his advice.
- The civil disobedience of the rebels in 1849, who declared San Marino a democratic republic and joined forces with Giuseppe Garibaldi, a leader of the Italian unification movement. They were suppressed by a papal army sent by Pope Pius IX.
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Independence and Sovereignty of San Marino
Despite these challenges, San Marino managed to maintain its independence and sovereignty throughout its history. It achieved this by:
- Negotiating treaties and agreements with various popes and rulers that recognized its rights and privileges.
- Developing a constitution that established its republican form of government and its institutions.
- Preserving its traditions and culture that fostered a sense of identity and belonging among its citizens.
- Participating in international organizations and events that enhanced its visibility and reputation in the world.
Some notable examples are:
- The Treaty of Friendship with Pope Urban VIII in 1631, which confirmed San Marino’s autonomy and territory within the Papal States.
- The Declaration of Neutrality in 1862, which declared San Marino’s non-involvement in any wars or conflicts between other states.
- The Constitution of 1600, which is the oldest written constitution still in effect in the world.
- The membership in the United Nations in 1992, which made San Marino the smallest member state in the organization.
San Marino is a remarkable country that has a long and rich history, dating back to antiquity. It has survived and thrived despite the challenges and threats posed by its larger and more powerful neighbors, such as the Papal States and Italy. It has preserved its independence and sovereignty by adhering to its principles and values, such as democracy, justice, and peace. It has also contributed to the world by offering its example and experience of a successful and enduring republic. San Marino is a country that deserves respect and admiration for its achievements and legacy.