Among churches, bell towers and traditions


July has come back and with it also the typical religious festivities of this wonderful month!
Although the scene is captured by the charm of the Prize of St. Anna, still two events deserve our attention: the feast of the Madonna del Carmine in Serrara on July 16 and the feast of St. Mary Magdalene, the patron saint of Casamicciola, on July 22.
The parish of St. Mary of Mount Carmelo in Serrara rises at the end of 1500 for a vow made by the Jacono family, on a farm of Carmelite friars, who came to Lacco Ameno to restructure the Church ...

of Santa Restituta destroyed by the Saracens, and is only a few meters from the spectacular viewpoint overlooking the village of Sant’ Angelo and part of the island. The church was erected as a parish in 1641. Among the works of art preserved in the church, there is a painting of the Madonna del Carmine on the high altar, a painting of St. Lucia, the statue of Our Lady of Sorrows and the statue of St. Vincenzo Ferreri dating back to eighteenth century.
In the past, the feast of St. Vincenzo Ferreri, the patron saint of the parish community and venerated inside all the territory, was celebrated on the first Sunday of September, ie before harvest and at the foot of the image, peasants still held out and lend a sign of great devotion, clusters of grape: popular piety has been believing for centuries that Vincenzo protects their vineyards from diseases that could affect the work of a year and so also the profit to support the family. Just that, is due the very strong devotion to St. Vincenzo. The feast in his honor for centuries has passed over the feast of the Blessed Virgin of Mount Carmelo, that was and is the owner of the parish, and on July 16 it was only feast of the church.
For forty years, the two parties have been merged into a single one and every year on July 16 the church and square of Serrara have a magical atmosphere: after the 21:00 Mass everyone is waiting for a magic moment that is renewed every year on time: the fire of the tower, accompanied by the song “Hail Queen of Heaven” in a hundred year tradition. A unique experience of its kind. The fire of the tower remembers when there were neither the church nor many homes, at the end of the Saracen invasions was lit a huge bonfire on the lookout and families scattered on the slopes of Epomeo and by this signal they understood that they could return to their houses, and that the coast is clear.
Every year, visitors and tourists from every part of the island come to witness this magical evening that enchants the pilgrim ascended the mount, like the Carmelo in Palestine, even for a moment to greet the Virgin: perhaps for this reason the brothers dedicated the Church of Serrara of the Virgin of Carmelo.
The parochial seat of Casamicciola Terme, however, is the church of Santa Maria Maddalena, once placed in the center of the Piazza Maio. The current building was constructed after the disastrous earthquake of July 28, 1883, which completely destroyed Casamicciola.
On the same place, as early as the fourteenth century, there was a church dedicated to San Severino, which was enlarged in 1540, on priest Bartolomeo Monti initiative. In 1636 the old name of San Severino will be accompanied by “ex considerable devotion” that one of St. Mary Magdalene penitent, which will prevail over the centuries.
The 1883 earthquake had its epicenter just the area of Piazza Maio, and stood only the bell tower with the clock of the Church, which has become legendary because its hands stopped at 13.10, recalling the instant of that mournful event
and the few survivors with precision.
As a result, only by the will and the unwavering determination of parish priest Giuseppe Morgera, who tirelessly urged the councilors, on May 7, 1894, was signed the contract documents to the construction company and, finally, on July 8, 1894 Monsignor Giuseppe Candido, Bishop of Ischia, among the cheering crowd, blessed the foundation of the first stone of the new parish.
The parish church was solemnly inaugurated on May 31, 1896, dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and St. Mary Magdalene, and rose slightly downstream of the previous church.
On the left transept of the church, later elevated to the dignity of a minor basilica, in a shrine is a half-length statue of Mary Magdalene dating back to 1730. Great was and still is the effort put into the cause of beatification of the legendary priest Giuseppe Morgera, declared venerable by Pope John Paul II in 2002, who is buried also in the left aisle of the Basilica.
After about 42 years as pastor of St. Mary Magdalene, great Don Vincenzo Avallone, to lead the parish is currently young Don Gino Ballirano, after short periods at the helm of the Community by the unforgettable Can. Don Filippo Caputo and Don Gaetano Pugliese.
Every year in July, Casamicciola honors its patron saint. For few years has been revived the tradition of the two processions that take place in the days before the feast day: the first evening the statue through the streets of “high” Casamicciola while in the second one those of the “marina”.
On July 22 is the big day in honor of the Patroness: after the Ss. Masses in the morning the appointment is at 20.00 when the statue is carried to the churchyard for the Solemn Mass outdoors.
The feast day ends with an evening of music and with a show of fireworks that light up the sky of Casamicciola, waiting for ‘July 22’ next year.

Parish of Santa Maria Maddalena

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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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