The Festival of Sant'Efisio

On 1 May of each year, for more than three and a half centuries, Cagliari, Capoterra, Sarroch, Villa San Pietro, Pula and all of Sardinia celebrate the Festival of Sant'Efisio. An extraordinary moment of devotion and centenarian traditions that blend in a procession that has no equal throughout the world. 

THE HISTORY OF EFISIO. Efisio was born in the middle of the third century in Jerusalem, as a pagan mother and Christian father. Although educated by his mother to the pagan cults, Efisio shows himself disapproving of the doctrine.
MILITARY LIFE - He becomes an official envoy of the Roman army under the Emperor Diocletian (perhaps driven by his mother) and is sent to Italy to fight Christians. It is for this reason that the saint's simulacro portrays him in military clothing.
THE CONVERSION - During his trip to Italy, a cross with lightning and lightning appears to him. Ephisy falls into a state of stunning where he hears the voice of Jesus telling him about his future martyrdom for the Christian faith. Arriving at Gaeta is baptized, deciding to fight for faith and defeat paganism. At this point he decides to intervene in defense of the Christians of Sardinia because he comes to know of the tribes still living immersed in paganism among the mountains of the interior.
THE ARRIVAL IN SARDINIA - Coming to the Island spreads the Gospel and surrounds himself by the first faithful. Taken from the fervor of faith, he writes a letter to the emperor to convert, but gets the opposite effect, so he is imprisoned and punished with horrible penises. The wounds inflicted on the body of Sant'Efisio are healed thanks to the work of the angels, it is told. The news of this miraculous event comes to the mouth of everyone in the city with the resulting conversion of other people. Diocletian, having come to the notice of this and other miracles, orders the death sentence of the holy martyr to Nora, and not to Cagliari for the fear of insurrections.
PROTECTION - The saint before his death asks God to protect the Sardinians from enemies and illnesses, and for this request, in the most tragic moments of Cagliari and Sardinian history, the people turned and addressed him to intervene at God. (Source Unione Sarda)

THE RITE. The rite originates from a 1652 Celtic Town of Cagliari, today kept in the Archives, where the city invokes the intercession of Sant'Efisio to end the plague and commits itself to celebrate every year and perpetually a Solemn feast.
Since 1657 the ceremony has been repeatedly celebrated in honor of Sant'Efisio: a pilgrimage departing from Cagliari to the place of the martyrdom of the Saint in the Nora Church, passing through Sarroch in the Chapel of Our Lady of Carmel at Villa d'Orri, in the past decades in the Church of Saint George and in the Church of Santa Vittoria resting in the night at the Casa Mascia. Every May 1st, therefore, many faithfuls accompany the Saint in this traditional procession, and then return to his Stampace Church on May 4 by midnight. (Source

The memory of the martyrdom of Sant'Efisio is a ritual that attracts tourists from all over the world and thousands of faithfuls from all over the island. In addition to religious rites, territorial administrations organize events of great artistic and cultural significance that corollary the path of the saint. You can get to know the detailed program of events by following this portal and the institutional pages of promotional organizations.



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