The sacred mountain of the Archangel
“Quando sono giunti dinanzi alle belle porte di bronzo della Basilica, s’inginocchiano, ne battono gli anelli, come invasati dalla follia, ne baciano le immagini, e perpetuando i riti dei secoli di maggiore fanatismo, traversano la sacra spelonca, strisciando a sangue la lingua per terra fino all’altare…” (The pilgrimage to Monte Sant’Angelo in the story of Saverio La Sorsa 1930).
Something more of a red wire brings the two extreme points of Europe from more of a thousand years. A nonstop flow of devoted have always moved from the north of France to the clifs of Gargano in name of San Michele, the “warrior Archangel” that with unique coincidences came forward at bishops and hermi, managing to require his willingness to make sacred an arduous place, where in a short times it would be rise a church.
According to tradition, the Archangel appear for the first time in 490 at Elvio Emanuele, rich shepherd and lord of the mount Garganico, to which was run away a bull from the herd. After days of research he found it, kneeling in a cave. The bull didn’t allow to capture and the shepherd it threw him a arrow, tath reversed the trajectory striking the archer. The man told everything to the bishop of Siponto, Lorenzo Maiorano, that decreed to the worshippers three days of penitence.
In the third day, the saint bishop had the apparition of the Archangel, that it told him: “I’m the Archangel Michele an I’m always at the presence of God. the cavern is sacred, it is my choice; I am the custodian of it… Where the rock opens the the men’s sins can be can be forgiven… What will have asked in the prayer will be fulfilled. Go to the mountain and devote the cave to God”.
On the Gargano
Here, as in all the south of Italy, the holy festivities are of the true feasts, in which relate rites and pagan traditions place side by side at the sacred, often with music and food.
In many municipalities of Gargano the holy festivities are concentrated in the warm season, between March and September and if you will have fortune, you can admire someone of it during your stay in our hotel in Peschici. Usually April is the month of the easter, with the cerimonies of the holy week, very important for the our people, after a week, Peschici celebrate the holyday of the Madonna di Loreto. On 23rd of the same month in Vieste we celebrate San Giorgio and after 15 days, on the 8th May we celebrate S. Maria di Merino. May continue with San Cirillo a Carpino and Sant’Eustachio ad Ischitella, while the last Sunday of the month in Peschici the fishermen celebrate the holiday of the Madonnina del mare.
In the 1st Sunday of June is celebrated the Corpus Domini, on the 13rd Sant’Antonio da Padova. On the second of June in Rodi Garganico is celebrated Madonna della Libera. On July 20 Peschici celebrate Sant’Elia Profeta. In August we celebrate Madonna on the 15th and in Ischitella on 23 August is celebrated “Il Crocifisso di Varano”, in the small church on the lake of Varano.
Finally Septeber is the month of Santa Maria della Luce, on 11th in Mattinata, San Matteo on the 21st in Peschici, St.Pio on 23rd in San Giovanni Rotondo and St. Michele Arcangelo in Monte Sant’Angelo on 29 of September.
Earth of faith
“An earth of and sanctuaries, of devoted and pilgrims, traditions that alterate in the shadow of the headland of the Gargano, stately crib of the religiousness. In the parable that from the triplex apparition os St.Michele (490-492 AD.) to the worldly story of St.Pio, condense him the sacred power of this part of Europe in which every year travellers and devotees hasten. From Gargano to the Tavoliere, it is possible recover the signs of a strong religiousness suspended between the uncertainty of the everyday life and the hope of the God’s grace that repays from the work. The sacred and the profane get confused in so many rites, tradition that survive, perpetrating the memories of sailors, shepherds and farmers.”