Rosalia’s Silver Urn

July 15 in Palermo is a day of masses, prayers, and concerts at the Cathedral in honor of Santa Rosalia. At 7PM, down il Cassaro, the Archbishop and Mayor of Palermo will lead a solemn procession featuring the silver urn containing the sacred relics of La Santuzza. With the intention to reenact the purification of…

September 4 and La Santuzza

Palermo‚Äôs patroness, Santa Rosalia, is recognized on September 4, the day she died in 1166, with a solemn pilgrimage to her sanctuary (pictured) at the top of Mount Pellegrino. The facade you see covers the opening to a large cave, where, in 1624, a sleeping hunter had a vision of the little-known, medieval-era saint. In…

Thanks to a Lost Hunter

During the late spring and summer of 1624, Palermo was under siege from a plague that cursed more than 10,000 inhabitants. Things were looking pretty bleak until in early July, when a lost hunter had a vision (as illustrated by this image, located at the saint’s sanctuary on Mount Pellegrino): Santa Rosalia appeared to him…

Santa Rosalia Purifies the Evils

“Il festivo,” which takes place on the evening of July 14, is a big street party that unifies Palermo’s citizens through a procession that symbolically purifies the city from the evils that have long afflicted it. For this annual celebration, each year Palermo commissions a new statue to represent its patron saint, Santa Rosalia. Like…