Feast of Santa Venera di Acireale
According to tradition, Venera was born in Aci Xifhonia on Good Friday in the year 100 AD by Agatone and Ippolita. She is also called Parasceve, she is raised according to the dictates of Christianity and in the current thermal baths called Santa Venera she carried out a work of assistance to the sick. At the age of twenty she remains an orphan and donates all her possessions to the poor, thus she begins an intense work of apostolate. For this fervent activity, she was beheaded on July 26, 143 in Cisalpine Gaul.
Santa Venera is the patron saint of the city of Acireale and is solemnly celebrated on July 26th according to an ancient protocol similar to that of the feast of Sant'Agata in Catania.
The half-length portrait made by Mario D'Angelo from Messina and painted by the painter Giacinto Platania is kept in one of the most beautiful chapels in all of Sicily. The simulacrum of the Saint is covered with ex-vows with the gospel in one hand and the crucifix in the other. At the base there is a sword, a tribute from the city of Catania to seal the peace after years of rivalry between Catania and Acireale.
The statue of the Virgin and Martyr Acese is carried in procession for two days on the silver fercolo built in 1659 pulled by devotees dressed in white; it is accompanied by five artistic candlesticks or candles representing as many guilds (shoemakers, bakers, fishmongers, masons and artisans) that sway and dance to the rhythm of a band in front of the procession. The exit and entry of the fercolo into the Church is carried out in a rush in the midst of an anxious crowd. In the evening the sky is colored by the spectacular fireworks that illuminate the Piazza Duomo of Acireale.
On November 14th, with a ceremony in the church, the transfer of the Saint's relics from Ascoli Piceno (1642) is commemorated. (Source Municipality of Acireale)
Technical sheet prepared by: Region of Sicily - Department of cultural heritage and Sicilian identity - CRicd: Regional center for inventory, cataloging and documentation and Sicilian regional film library
Web card insertion: Ignazio Caloggero
Information contributions: Ignazio Caloggero / Web
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