The later saint (regional also Pankraz or Gratz) was around 290 in Phrygia in the today's Turkey born the son of a wealthy Roman and suffered a martyr's death in Rome around the age of 304. According to legend, he traveled in 303 with his uncle Dionys to Rome. The name means "the besiegende". With his inherited fortune he helped the persecuted Christians there, especially the prisoners for their faith's sake. After the death of his uncle Pankratius was seized by one of the persecution orders of Emperor Diocletian (236-312) and brought before the emperor. The 14-year-old was in spite of all the temptations to dissuade the faith, so he was publicly beheaded and then thrown his body to the dogs for food. A church was built over his grave in 500, replacing the present-day San Pancrazio church.
Pankratius is one of the five Eisheiligen His feast day is May 12th. He is the patron of first comunicants and children, the young seed and blossom, against perjury and false testimony and headaches. He is often depicted in knight's armor with sword, martyr's crown and palm tree. The picture on the right shows an allegedly genuine relic in the parish church of Wil (canton of St. Gallen in Switzerland). But this is one of the numerous miraculous relics, especially in the Middle Ages, for the bones and also the head of the martyr are in the church of San Pancrazio in Rome. Two calendar spells related to viniculture are: 1) W hen's freezes on St. Pancras is much ruined in the vineyard. 2) If Santa Pankratius is beautiful, good wine will be seen. S ee also under Bauernregeln. Customs in viticulture and wine Saints,