Santa Lucia

December 3, 2009 / Events
Siracusa, Sicily
santalucia1Tradition has it that Santa Lucia was martyred for refusing to give up her faith and is said to have plucked out her own eyes and thrown them at her persecutors. Since she is the patron saint of Sicracusa, on her feast day, December 13th her statue is taken in procession from the Duomo on the island of Ortigia, where she resides, to the church of Santa Lucia, on the mainland of Siracusa. Eight days later they return the Saint to the Duomo.

santalucia3A festive market is set up along the streets that lead to the church selling candies, nuts and balloons, unrelated to anything saintly, but tasty and colorful to look at. Around 4, church bells ring out and fireworks burst into the sky, to signal the start of the procession. Many of the women walk barefoot, carrying enormous candles as an expression of empathy for the pain the Saint suffered, reciting prayers and hymns accompanied by the music of marching bands.

santalucia2The statue of Santa Lucia, incredibly elaborate in silver with gold accents atop an equally ornate base, with a knife coming out of her neck, is borne on strong shoulders through the streets of Siracusa, over the bridge and back to the Duomo in Ortigia in a procession that lasts several hours.

When the Saint reaches the bridge, the most dazzling fireworks display begins. Shouts of “Bravi!” “Bellissimi!” and even “Mamma Mia!” can be heard from those gathered to watch the Saint pass. It is truly “Spettacolare!

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Rosemary and Bob Connelly

by Rosemary and Bob Connelly

Artists who fulfilled their dream to “Live Cheap and Make Art” in Italy. Their website showcases their watercolors and photographs.

One Response to “Santa Lucia”

  1. Joe Pillitteri

    Siracusa…a truly wonderful citta. My daughter and I visted there and it was the highlight of our trip to bella Sicilia!!


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