The procession of San Michele

san-michele-arcangeloSant’ Angelo, a small fishing village in the south of the island renews every year at the end of September the homage to the patron saint, St. Michael the Archangel.
Don Vincenzo Fiorentino, son of the nearby village of Panza, is over 50 years pastor of St. Angelo, at the helm of one of the smaller parishes of the island, active such as since 1905 after years of “dependency” from the Parish of St. Maria del Carmine in Serrara.

It is him to talk us about these beautiful days per year expected by villagers and tourists, who do not hesitate to book well in advance their stay in the hotels in the area.
At one time, already near the top of the islet of Sant’ Angelo (the so-called "Tower") was a small Benedictine monastery with an adjoining tower. The monks had to leave the place around 1432, leaving, however, the cult now firmly rooted to the Archangel Michael which , both for the bombing of the British in 1808, and for the expansion of the village towards the sea, was transferred into the village where there was formerly the chapel of "Santa Maria a Terra" (in the locality "Madonnella"). Around 1850 was later built the new and current Parish Church and the adjacent cemetery that arise on land owned by the Iacono family, whose son priest canon Giuseppe was the first pastor of St. Angelo until 1912. He was to ask and to get hard on the recognition of the Parish in 1905 for the community of St. Michael (also including the rectory of Narività of Maria Ss. Succhivo in) in 2005 and then celebrated its first anniversary as a parish community.
After that, for another 50 years to the day (1912-1962) was Don Luigi Trofa to lead the young community of Sant’ Angelo, before the arrival of the always dynamic and beloved Don Vincenzo! This building is simple and follows the local architectural lines even though the current building is the result of additions and renovations. On the front to the right of the church there was the old bell tower with three arches close together, joined at the top by working cones shaped buttresses of the arches. In recent times under the arches was placed a depiction of San Michele in majolica. On the left side of the portal is the new bell tower. The parish church in its interior has a single nave ending in an apse just mentioned. On the central altar there is a nineteenth century altarpiece depicting the Assumption and San Rocco. On either side of the apse there are two niches, which contain the statues of Our Lady of Sorrows and the Heart of Jesus; on the right there is another small altar with a wooden statue of the eighteenth century of St. Michael the Archangel. In the sacristy is preserved a beautiful painting depicting the Madonna and Child by unknown author, along with two former -vows, a painting on the tablet and the other on glass: both represent miraculous rescues of people from Sant’ Angelo in stormy seas.
There are two intense days, on September 29 and 30, with a program that varies very little from year to year but that gives new emotions to the person who lives and makes his own.
Striking is the procession of the first night, the feast day of the patron saint, with Saint Michael carried on the shoulder by the faithful along the narrow streets and steep in the upper part and for those simple and picturesque marina and at dusk, as if by magic, here brighten all shimmering cliffs of many flames! This is thanks to the hard work of a group of local youths who, in order to prepare the scenario, on the rocks placed inside large jars with rags soaked in oil, which are then turned in two days with torches to the passage of San Michele.
On September 30, in the morning the statue of San Michele is transferred to the square of the village where remained until evening, to be carried in procession again, this time to sea and towards Punta Chiarito in the nearby village of Panza both to the Maronti - Barano (received every year by an inscription on the sand composed of many small torches by local tour operators).
A river of boats, large and small come from all over the island and follow the "Pellicano", the fishing boat that has the honor of carrying the Saint, escorted by all law enforcement agency.
A show by endless from Punta Chiarito to the Beach of Maronti, a twinkle of multicolored waterfalls which mixed with flames of the cliffs illuminated ,create a wonderful atmosphere.
After the Mass celebrated in the streets and the band concert, a thunderous finale of lights, sounds and colors, fills the sky of San Angelo to give appointment to all the next year, pending other wonderful days in Sant’Angelo!

See more pictures of the Procession of San Michele

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