Saint Ansanus (Italian: Sant'Ansano) (died 304 AD), called The Baptizer or The Apostle of Siena, is the patron saint of Siena, a scion of the Anician family of Rome.
His legend states that he was born of a noble Roman
family. While still a child, Ansanus was secretly baptized
by his nurse Maxima
(venerated as St. Maxima of Rome
) and was secretly brought up as a Christian
. Ansanus openly declared his Christian faith during the persecutions of Diocletian
, when he was nineteen years old.
According to tradition, Ansanus and Maxima were scourged; Maxima died from this. Ansanus, however, survived this torture, as well as the next one: being thrown into a pot of boiling oil. He was then taken to the city of Siena as a prisoner. He managed to preach Christianity there and make many converts to this religion. He was decapitated by order of Diocletian.
It is also said that his own father denounced him to the authorities, but Ansanus managed to escape, and converted many at Bagnorea and later at Siena.
He was venerated as one of the patron saints of Siena. He is depicted in the Maestà