Wednesday, June 03, 2015

La Tredicina di Sant'Antonio

La tredicina di Sant'Antonio is dedicated to Saint Anthony throughout Italy for the first thirteen days of June. 

Here in Calitri, Sant'Antonio's bell is rung by hand starting around 5 p.m. when the women of la cascina gather down to his little yellow church at the base of the hill to sing prayers for themselves and the town. Vespers. 

The tredicina is an extended novena in the number thirteen. Thirteen days to appeal to Saint Anthony, the patron saint of lost things. And a remarkable way to begin living in this little paese on the hill, I thought. Thirteen is a lucky number in Italy. 

I first heard the bell late one afternoon from over my balcony when I first came to live on via Fontana, way back in June 2006. The neighborhood then was fairly new to me and it came from somewhere just out of view. The ringing of the bell struck me as meditative, an almost melancholy sound.

Sant'Antonio come around, something lost must be found, please help me bring it round - is one of his more popular prayers. 

That was nine years ago. Little did I know what I had already found. Now every summer I look forward to the bell and the days leading up to Saint Antonio's feast day on the thirteenth of June - the luckiest day of an Italian's year. 

Auguri a tutti di Sant'Antonio