SAINT ANTHONY ABBOTT
The passage that follows, taken from the book by Gennaro Finamore "CREDENZE USI E COSTUMI ABRUZZESI", reminds a lot of what was told in Fallo about Saint Anthony Abbott. Particularly interesting is the story of a beggar who, in the name of the Saint, asked the people of the village for sausages, hams and whatever best food they had at home. A part of the song he sang was:
Saint Anthony accepts all
If you give him sausages
You refresh Saint Anthony
If you give him ham
Saint Anthony accepts all.
The excerpt that follows, at least in part, confirms what has been just said. Moreover, it is well known that often to the sacred feast was associated the profane aspect, which consisted of reunions around a table lavishly covered with food, and processions designed to collect foodstuff. Happy reading!
The devil is the Genius of evil, who ensnares the health of men and of domestic animals, girls' chastity, and the duties and the peace of families; and nevertheless, diseases, falls, fires, calumnies, grudges and all that could be worse in life are all his work. But Saint Anthony, the Genius of good, keeps him (the devil) in check. For this old Saint who lives in a hut with a pig, the devil is nothing else but a bad urchin who can infest him all he wants, without ever succeeding to triumph. Saint Anthony, so holy, doesn't do miracles, but just as every free citizen among us does in similar cases, he administers formidable blows, which break the snout and the horns of the adversary.
And so, for our people, S. Anthony is man's protector in all his needs, in dangers, and in life's adversities; the champion of slandered women; the confider of girls looking for a husband.
In Fara Filiorum Petri, there is a rural church named after S. Anthony Abbott. The eve of the feast, people customarily take the Saint's statue with great pomp. Two long lines of farmers, each carrying a torch, lead the procession accompanied by music and a large crowd, which sings and screams with joy, followed by illuminations, with bell tolling and shootings from the houses and from everywhere in the countryside. The effect caused by this nocturnal procession is very beautiful. After half hour, Saint Anthony makes his triumphal entrance in the town, where the manifestations of joy are the greatest. Arriving to the square, where the parish church is, in which the statue is left, the bearers of torches (fárchie, made with bundles of canes), in succession they throw in the middle of the square what is left of their torches, and they make a big bonfire (nu fucarácchie). Elsewhere, they start fires in front of houses or in courtyards. In Pettorano, in front of the church. The same in Roccaraso; where after the fire has been blessed, each one, for devotion, brings a firebrand back home.