St. Aspren was a citizen of Naples all his life. He lived from the end of the 1st century to the beginning of the 2nd century. He is venerated for being the first bishop of Naples, though not much more is known about his life. An ancient legend holds that, on his way to Rome, Saint Peter stopped in Naples to cure and convert an old woman, known as Candida the Elder. While he remained in the city, it was either Saint Peter or Candida herself who converted Aspren. It is said that Peter also consecrated Aspren as bishop of Naples, and asked him to build the oratory of Santa Maria del Principio. After his death, Aspren was credited with performing numerous miracles, and his relics were translated to the basilica of Santa Restituta. Additionally, two churches in Naples were dedicated to him, as well as the chapel of San Aspreno in Naples Cathedral, which also contains a silver bust of him. We celebrate his feast day August 3.
Questions for Reflection:
- Aspren was called to become the bishop in order to serve God. Have you received God’s call yet? How have you responded?
- How can you act as a spiritual guide for friends of both Christian and non-Christian faiths?