The Angel’s run in Forio on the Island of Ischia

Angeles run in Forio In Forio, the largest of the six municipalities of the island of Ischia, along the main street of the village, in the late morning of Easter Day, occurrs the passion play called the "Angel Run", organized by the ancient Confraternity of Santa Maria Visitapoveri with office in the homonym church in Piazza Municipio.

It is known since 1618, built in the spiritual climate of the reform period when the Catholic popular religiosity is characterized by a set of practices that take place in acts, gestures, words, and with the spread of representations of religious subjects such as Christmas , the Passion, the Resurrection.

This mystery play is pervaded by a high poetic value, almost a hymn out of the powerful poetic imagination by "Jacopone da Todi". It requires only the theological and historical event of the resurrection of Christ, while the rest is freely revised by the anonymous "poet" who has created it. The protagonists are four: the risen Jesus, the Madonna, S.John the Apostle representing by three wooden statues made by Neapolitan an unknown sculptor in the years 1756-57, and by an Angel, also a wooden statue by the sculptor Francesco Mollica around 1620. Today the original statue no longer runs, is located in the Arciconfraternita church. Its role is played by a copy made about twenty years ago.

The scene takes place during the procession, along Matteo Verde and Francesco Regine streets and is punctuated by liturgical chant of "Regina Coeli" according to their solemn and touching melody of Forio. The images of S. John and Madonna, who has his face covered with a white veil, slowly advancing along Corso Matteo Verde to Piazza Matteotti, while the Angel after the singing of the "Regina Coeli" and three bows with a particular technique, makes three races from the statue of Christ up to the crossroads and vice versa. Then he stops under the bell tower of the basilica of S. Maria di Loreto. The statues of the Madonna and St. John meanwhile advancing slowly to Vico Piazza. Here the veil falls by Madonna's face who immediately runs up to settle down to the left of the statue of the risen Christ, while colored confetti are thrown from the balconies, the bells are ringing, break out the fireworks and the crowd rises a cry of joy and thunderous applause. Meanwhile, the statue of St. John backs up to the height of the tower. At this point the angel stands at the last ride to reach the Christ and the Madonna, the "Regina Coeli" returns, the Angel makes three bows and backs up to the bell tower. Then the banner of the long rod with the tip a tuft of ostrich feathers appears. It repeats the chant, then, the banner is dropped three times until it almost touches the ground. If everything turns out right, the crowd applauds earnestly. Then the procession is recomposed. This mystery play follows a scene that recalls the text of the Gospel, whose plot could look like this: Jesus is risen and sent his angel to tell his Mother, accompanied by John, on the way to the tomb of Jesus. The Angel runs between Jesus and Mary for three times in order to proclaim the resurrection, as well as during the Easter Vigil liturgy of the Church proclaims in light of the candle or three times that Christ is the light of the world and three times singing Hallelujah, the hymn of resurrection and life. The unveiling of the Madonna's face signifies the time when the Church is illuminated by the bright light of the resurrection of Christ who has conquered death and has reconciled man to God.

Photogallery of Angel's run in Forio island of Ischia

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This mystery play, though in recent decades has lost little of its spirituality to become a little folklore, is the highlight of Easter for the real person of Forio who lives a moment of deep religious faith and, at the same time, the glorious traditions of his land and his ‘forianity’.

Video Angel's run in Forio

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Info on Ischia island

  • Surface: 46 Kmq
  • Hight: 789 mt
  • Lat.: 40° 44',82 N
  • Long.: 13° 56',58 E
  • Periplus: 18 miglia
  • Coasts: 51.2 Km
  • Cities: 6
  • Inhabitants: 58.029

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