Saint Donatus of Zadar
Born Louth, Ireland
Feastday: January 25
Martyr with Sabinus and Agape. Nothing is known of their martyrdom.
Saint Donatus (second half of 8th century Zadar – first half of 9th century) was an Irishman who became a Dalmatian bishop and a diplomat of the city of Zadar.
Donatus is mentioned in Frankish annals from 805 as an ambassador of the Dalmatian cities to Charlemagne in Thionville. Donatus began construction on the cathedral at Zadar: the church of the Holy Trinity (finished in the beginning of the 9th century), which in 15th century changed was renamed the Church of St. Donatus.
The marble sarcophagus in the cathedral preserves the relics of the Sirmian martyr St. Anastasia with an inscription dating from Donatus' time. According to tradition, St. Donatus brought the relics to Zadar from Constantinople, when he was there with the Venetian duke Beato. They had been ordered by Charlemagne to negotiate the border between the Byzantine Empire and Croatian territories that were in dominion of Frankish Empire of Charlemagne.
Church of St. Donatus in Zadar.
Donatus died around 811, and was buried in his church of the Holy Trinity (today the Church of St. Donatus). After 1809, following the French occupation of Zadar, his bones were transferred to the Cathedral of St. Anastasia where they lie to this date.
The Feast of St. Donatus is celebrated on February 25.