On 8th September in Gela it is celebrated the feast of the Madonna dell’Alemanna, Patron Saint of the city since 1450, the year of the discovery of the Byzantine-style icon of the Madonna which was brought to the city by the Knights of the Teutonic Order. The Teutonics were called  Alemanni because of their German origins and therefore the church of Santa Maria dei Teutonici became the church of Santa Maria of  Alemanna. Since September 5th, the illuminated city is in great joyful ferment and people are used to meet in the morning at the seaside to enjoy the thrill of “U paliu ‘a’ ntinna” (the cuccagna to the sea) “. In the afternoon , instead, it’s possibile to attend some sport competitions in the different districts, visiting the local handicraft exhibitions or the stalls and  going to the Mother Church in order to dissolve a vow or for a moment of prayer to the Virgin of the Alemanna. On 8th September, in the morning, the Mother Church becomes the destination of a crowd which prays in front of Patron Saint’s icon. Furthermore the bishop of the Diocese celebrates a solemn Pontifical mass and in the late afternoon the procession of the icon takes place throughout the city streets, with touching traditional moments when children are undressed  as gratitude for their birth, the stop at the monumental cemetery to entrust the departed to Maria, at the city Hall to invoke support and wisdom for the administrators, at the Mediterranean avenue for sea blessing , at “Mulino a Vento” (a small neighborhood) to help economic operators and industrial workers and finally the last stop in “Porta Caltagirone” for the protection of the Patron Saint in the entire countryside. All the inhabitants love and believe in Madonna dell’Alemanna.

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Gloria Antonuzzo


3 B turistico

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