The broken idol
When Grato was bishop of Aosta, paganism was till widespread in many areas of the Valley. At Verrès the inhabitants worshipped and prayed to the God Mars, building a temple dedicated to him. The saint, having heard about this, quickly went to the idolizing village, where he found the crowd gathered around the deity’s simulacrum. Grato invoked divine intervention. The earth began to shake with a tremendous rumble and the statue of Mars broke, falling at the saint’s feet. The bystanders, shocked at this miracle, joined the bishop to invoke God’s protection. Much later, the inhabitants of Verrès, in memory of this miraculous event that converted them into Christianity, wanted to dedicate a statue of the patron saint of Valle d’Aosta and placed it in the tower of the bell-tower. But they continued to call the road where the temple of the god of war once stood “via Martorey”.