Festa di Santa Lucia delle Quaglie 2023, also known as the Patronage of Saint Lucia, will take place on Sunday, May 7, in Syracuse. The octave of the feast will take place on the next Sunday, May 14.
Saint Lucia, the patron saint of Syracuse, is celebrated twice a year. The Feast of Saint Lucia of the Quails recalls the miracle occured in 1646, while the feast held in December commemorates the martyrdom of the Saint.
Lucia of Syracuse was a martyr who died during the rule of the Roman Emperor Diocletian and his persecution of Christians. She is venerated as a saint by the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran and Orthodox churches.
The May celebration recalls the miracle occured in 1646, when the city passed through a serious famine, and ships loaded with grain arrived in the harbour at the right moment, saving the city from calamity.
According to legend, a quail, symbol of the Holy Spirit, flew inside the Cathedral to announce the miracle.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
On May 7, around 9.30 am, a historical parade with people in period costumes will start from the Santa Lucia Quay (Sbarcadero Santa Lucia), located in the Borgata district, to reach the Umbertino Bridge around 10.00 am.
Traditional boats will bring sacks of wheat and legumes from a ship anchored in the bay, and the food will be loaded in a Sicilian cart. The historical parade will resume its march to Piazza Duomo.
On this occasion, the statue of Santa Lucia will be transported from the first church to the other and, during this short pilgrimage, doves will be released from the balconies that surround the square.
On the next Sunday, the statue of the Saint will return from the Church of Santa Lucia alla Badia to the Cathedral, in a similar procession that will start around 7.00 pm. This time, the procession will wander along the streets of the Ortygia island, before returning to the Cathedral.
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