Saint’Agatha :the patron Saint and Martyr of Catania called “A Santuzza”

Today is the eighth day after the feast of Saint Agatha in Catania, in Sicily. Unluckily there is no celebration due to Covid-19. Saint Agatha is the Patron Saint and Martyr of Catania. She was a young girl of noble origin and lived in the third century a.d. Before the pandemic there was an important feast in her honour every year, it lasted three days from 3rd of February to 5th, besides there was a celebration in 12th February (the 8th day after the feast) and 17th August. These dates are important because the 5th remember her martyrdom while the 17th remember the return from Constantinople of her relics. On 4th of February the Saint usually went out after the Mass of “Aurora” around the streets of Catania. The day after the 5th she went out again through the main street of Catania,via Etnea. All the streets were illuminated and all the city lived an atmosphere of holiday. During the religious procession there were the” Candelore”.

The Candelora carried by men on their shoulder
The Ferculus and religious devotees

They are big Candles all decorated which represent the corporations of arts and trades. They are 14 and weigh from 400 to 900 kilos. They are a really attraction for tourists because they are carried on the shoulder by a group of 4 or 12 men. When they carry the Candeloras they walk in a characteristic pace called in Sicilian dialect ”A’nnacata”. They usually turned around the city about ten days before the celebration of the saint. Saint Agatha has an attractive bust covered with jewels, gold and silk, all precious stones were donated by devotees . It is said that also Queen Elizabeth donated her the famous precious golden flower that the Saint has in her hand. The devotees who pull the Ferculus usually wear the “Saccu” and the “Scurzitta”, a cord, white gloves and cry”Semu tutti devoti tutti, cittadini , cittadini,!Viva Sant’Agata”(We are all devoted, citizens, citizens Viva Saint Agatha”. The city of Catania hopes that next year all citizens and tourists can see the feast again.

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Autore:

Musumeci Samuele

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