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The Feast of Saint Sebastian, Melilli Sicily

Feast of the PatronSaint Sebastian the Martyrof Melilli(Syracuse).In his honor the devotees, on the night of May 3 and 4, go topilgrimage on foot,from Carlisle, Lentini and others, untilMelilli.

The storytells us that at the end of April 1414 a ship, coming from the Adriatic Sea, was shipwrecked on the island Magnisi.There were no casualties and shipwrecked attributed this exceptional occurrence to thestatueof St. Sebastian, which is contained in a box carried in the ship, who were concerned immediately to collect, but unable to lift it.The news of the event came early to the bishop of Syracuse, the people in the procession, went immediately on the spot in order to bring the statue at the seat of an archbishop.The fame of thismiraculous eventcame also in Melilli whose people, driven by faith and by curiosity, went to the place where there was a statue on May 1st 1414. Legend has it that when it was decided by which of the countries of Syracuse statue should be placed, suddenly and miraculously the statue became heavy for all those who tried to lift it except for the inhabitants of Melilli which carried the miraculous Semblance of San Sebastiano in procession to the village with songs of joy and hymns religious.

The celebrationsbegin on the evening ofMay 3with theprocessionof thesilver reliquary: a braccio who holds an arrow.On the night of May 3 and 4, the square and the main course are brightly lit to welcome pilgrims who arrive on foot from neighboring countries and waiting with trepidation and anxiety l 'opening of the church, to express their thanks to St. Sebastian.At four o'clock on May 4, between peal of bells and firing of firecrackers opens theChurch, in which they flock to the faithful who cry "semu vinuti re Tantu luntanu. Primu diu ee Sam Mastianu. "Around six o'clock, running, coming from theHoly Cross(places where there is a shrine of the saint) the "nuri"Melilli, men, women and children vestiti with white kerchief on her head,a red sash over his shoulder and hips, a bunch flowers in her hand, then come the "nuri"Sortino and Solarino.At ten o'clock we witness thetriumphant release of fercolo, which is carried in procession through the streets of the historic center.The celebrations will conclude on May 11, when the statue of Saint Sebastian, after having walked the streets of the new expansion area, is preserved in the church shouting "primu diu and sam mastianu. "the party "maju"is also melillesi many migrants the opportunity to return to their homeland

The Patron Saint is solemnly celebrated onJanuary 20, the day of his "Dies Natalis" when, at six o'clock, you can witness the solemn UNVEILED of the miraculous statue, placed on the high altar.The Holy remains exposed to the veneration of the faithful for the entire octave, to be preserved, then, in its niche until May 4.For more information:www.sansebastianomelilli.it-www.comunemelilli.it

From feste and sangre in sicilia

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Getting Ready To Go

We are fast approaching out 11th trip to Italy, in this case Sicily. Packing for us has always been a chore. How much, how little. We know if we forgot something, usualy you can buy it in Italy. I bring two pairs of slacks, 1 pair of shorts, 4 washable undershorts, and 4 - 5 shirts, one is longsleeve. We keep our packing to 1 small suitcase each.

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My problem is theelectronics. We bring two Ipads, two IPhones, one SLR, one Mini Camera, and a Canon Camcorder. Add the adapters, cords, plugs, etc and I have a lot. But those photos and videos would not be possible with out all this stuff.


Below, Etna lava flow at twilight from Taormina.

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Below up close, the constant bellowing of smoke from Etna.

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Mt Etna, day and night.

Greg Speck 2016