Events in Cascia and Norcia Area

Events in Cascia and Norcia Area

Procession of The Dead Christ
10 April, at 21.30
Collegiate Church of Santa Maria – Streets of The Town
The procession leaves from the Collegiate Church of Santa Maria and makes its way along the streets of the town, which are illuminated by torches.
The crying of the women and the men singing the Miserere in unison and the noise of the chains tied to the bare feet of the hooded penitents are the only noises that break the silence on this night of mystery.
The body of Christ is carried shoulder-high past the Stations of the Cross depicted on painted banners, and is followed by the penitents in their black clothes.

Celebrations in Honour of Saint Rita

21 And 22 May - Basilica of Santa Rita
The feast that Cascia dedicates to S.Rita is a very varied one, and moments of celebration alternate with moments dedicated to reflection and to a liturgy that is centuries old.
For example, for 300 years without interruption the local people have been holding "Saint Rita's Thursdays", when for 15 Thursdays before the feast on 22 May, meetings are held at different times of the day in preparation for the celebrations.
As a gesture of friendship, Cascia is twinned each year with a different city in Italy or
elsewhere in Europe.
A torch is lit in the twin city about a week before the feast of S.Rita, and runners carry it in relays until it reaches Cascia on the night of 21 May and arrives in front of the Basilica of S.Rita where it is used to light a flame.
On 22 May a costumed procession makes its way from Via del Pago to the Basilica.
During the celebrations, an award is made to a person who lives according the ideals of forgiveness, peace, solidarity, devotion, faith and love as exemplifi ed by Santa Rita.

Cerreto di Spoleto
Procession of The Dead Christ - 10 April, at 20.00
In the small village of Borgo Cerretto, on the left bank of the River Nera, the Passion of Christ is
enacted in a setting that adds to the dramatic force of the events depicted.
The Passion involves all of the inhabitants of Borgo Cerretto, who, dressed in the costumes of the time, tell the story of the last days of Christ using the texts of Jacopone da Todi.
The procession leaves from the square in front of the Church of San Lorenzo and makes its way along the narrow village streets.

Monteleone di Spoleto
Procession of The Dead Christ - 10 April, at 21.00
On Good Friday, the Sacrament is displayed and the Adoration goes on from morning until the
evening procession. The church bells remain silent in mourning for the death of Christ. The most
important moments are the Adoration of the Cross and the Procession that leaves from the Church of San Francesco and winds its way through the main streets of the town until it gets to a pine grove. The most moving of the costumed fi gures are the Pious Women, played by three young women from the town; dressed in black, their faces covered in mourning, they follow the statue of the Dead Christ. The procession is organised by the town's two confraternities, the Santissimo Sacramento (in white) and the Buona Morte (in black, carrying the cross and the statues of the Dead Christ and of Our Lady of Sorrows).

Easter Sunday Procession - 12 April, at 12.00
The procession starts from the Church of San Francesco. It was fi rst a Benedictine oratory, but was later taken over by the Franciscans, who enlarged it in around 1285. The original church had a single nave and a roof of beams and tiles. It contains frescos (15th-16th century), paintings (17th-18th century), wooden sculpture (14th century), wooden crucifi xes (14th-15th century), a wooden choir (15th centruy) and an organ (15th century). In the lower presbytery there are well-conserved frescos from the fifteenth century.
In the nave, today used as a theatre, there are two stone niches with painting from the thirteenth century. After making its way through the streets, the procession returns to the starting point.

Easter Monday Procession 14 April, at 17.00
The procession goes from the Church of San Giovanni to the Church of San Francesco.

Feast And Fair of The Cross
3 And 4 May Festivities in honour of the finding of the Cross of Jesus. In the past this event was very popular, and on 3 May a large fair was held at which livestock was bought and sold. In this way the local farmers paid for the things their wives had bought in the village during the winter. Over the years the importance of this event has changed, and today a mass is held on 3 May in the pine grove at Monteleone, while on the following day a fair is held in Corso Vittorio Emanuele. This is a good occasion for visiting the town of Monteleone, the wonderful Convent of San Francesco, and the site of the discovery of the famous Monteleone Chariot.

Procession of The Dead Christ - 10 April, at 21.30 - Around The City Walls
In Norcia the Procession follows the old city walls. The scenes of the last days of Christ are shown in tableaux, and they become more harrowing as they approach the scene of the Crucifi xion: from the distance you can make out the crosses on which three actors relive the drama of the Passion of Christ.

Procession to The Madonna Della Stella Hermitage 3 May - Hermitage of The Madonna Della Stella
The Sanctuary is open for prayer from the first Sunday of May to the fi rst Sunday of June. According to tradition, in 1833 two shepherds taking shelter near a rock found a fresco in the bushes. Dating from 1416, it showed the Virgin with Saints Benedict and Augustine and was part of a ruined church. Since then the inhabitants of the area have venerated the fresco. They themselves paid to rebuild the old church, and it became known as "Madonna della Stella". Every fi rst Sunday in May, Mass is celebrated in the Sanctuary, after which a lunch is organised.
Pilgrims come from the nearby towns of Cerreto, Triponzo and Ponte to honour the Madonna, making their way along the valley of the Tissino.

Festa di Santa Rita 22 May
Feast in honour of the Saint of the impossible; it is held on the same day as the celebrations in Cascia nearby.

Feast of Sant'Eutizio 23 May
Piedivalle di Preci – Abbey of Sant'Eutizio
The feast starts with a procession from Piedivalle to the Abbey.After the procession there is Mass, after which refreshments are provided by the local parish.

Vallo di Nera

Easter Breakfast in The Town Square -12 April
The village of Vallo di Nera, an independent castlefounded in 1217, is situated on a hill that dominates a wide stretch of the Nera Valley. On the morning of Easter Sunday, Easter breakfast can be enjoyed in the wonderful setting of Piazza San Giovanni. Hams, cheese, boiler eggs, omelettes, sweet and savoury "Easter pizza" and chocolate eggs are all consumed at this wonderful breakfast.
Regione Umbria Lunedì 6 Aprile 2009

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