Palermo pins hopes on patron saint to rid Italy of coronavirus

Mar 16, 2020 1071

Legend has it that in 1625, as a plague swept Palermo and killed dozens of people each day, Saint Rosalia appeared before a man. Rosalia, a young Sicilian hermit who died 500 years earlier, told him that if the people of Palermo walked in procession while carrying her relics, to be found in a grotto on Monte Pellegrino, then the “evil fever” would disappear.

After months of debate over the authenticity of that apparition, Saint Rosalia’s remains – among them a piece of her jaw and three fingers – were paraded through the city at an event attended by thousands of devotees. When the plague began to ebb, she was proclaimed the holy protector of the city.

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SOURCE: https://www.theguardian.com

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