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  • The Devil's Column

    By Anthony Parente

    The Devil's Column
    Just outside the Basilica di Sant'Ambrogio in Milan is an ancient Roman marble column that is part of one of the city's oldest legends. To many it is called the Colonna del Diavolo (Devil's Column) and it is believed to be a portal to hell.

    It was during the end of the 4th century when Bishop Ambrose of Milan, who would later become Saint Ambrose (Sant'Ambrogio), was walking in the courtyard of the Basilica Martyrum, which has been renamed the Basilica of Sant'Ambrogio, when he encountered Satan. Satan was persistent in tempting Ambrose. The Devil knew if he could get the revered Ambrose to succumb to his temptations it would be a great achievement. The Devil spent a lot of time and effort doing and saying anything to corrupt him. Eventually Ambrose grew tired of the Devil and gave him a swift kick in the behind slamming the Devil into marble column causing the Devil's horns to get stuck. The Devil tried to free himself to no prevail. He eventually disappeared through the holes back to hell leaving a strong smell of sulphur.

    Many have visited the column and as they approached they can still smell the sulphur emanating from the holes. Many say that on Easter Eve you can see the Devil on a horse drawn carriage crossing the courtyard dragging the souls of all the sinners to hell.

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