Saint Question


#1

My family has several “patron” saints which we pray to (and “through”). Well, one is the very popular Saint Anthony of Padua. Another however is much more obscure and I have not been able to find much info about her. She is still to this day the patron saint of the town where my family came to America from. Her name is Santa Liberata, and her holy day(s) is / are celebrated in the summers on June 12th in my father’s hometown, and then a larger feast on July 20th. Her statue, a young woman crucified, is carried in procession through the town ( I have participated in this walk myself a few times) , and many of the townspeople hang their own personal things, like jewelry or other such affects, on this blue silky gown they cover her with. I have looked on the Internet and all I have been able to find is that she is also venerated in certain rural areas of Spain I believe. Has any other Catholics here heard of this obscure saint?? We still go to a church , even here in America, on June 12th and / or July 20th , where there are a large amount of parishioners all from my father’s original hometown, and they say a special Mass in the Saint’s honour and do the procession around the block of the Church , followed by a feast in the park, etc. , just like in the “old country”.


#2

I found this here at Patron Saints index

Looks like the same one.

God Bless,
Maria


#3

[quote=Suavemente]My family has several “patron” saints which we pray to (and “through”). Well, one is the very popular Saint Anthony of Padua. Another however is much more obscure and I have not been able to find much info about her. She is still to this day the patron saint of the town where my family came to America from. Her name is Santa Liberata, and her holy day(s) is / are celebrated in the summers on June 12th in my father’s hometown, and then a larger feast on July 20th. Her statue, a young woman crucified, is carried in procession through the town ( I have participated in this walk myself a few times) , and many of the townspeople hang their own personal things, like jewelry or other such affects, on this blue silky gown they cover her with. I have looked on the Internet and all I have been able to find is that she is also venerated in certain rural areas of Spain I believe. Has any other Catholics here heard of this obscure saint?? We still go to a church , even here in America, on June 12th and / or July 20th , where there are a large amount of parishioners all from my father’s original hometown, and they say a special Mass in the Saint’s honour and do the procession around the block of the Church , followed by a feast in the park, etc. , just like in the “old country”.
[/quote]

Peace.

Try this: catholic-forum.com/saints/saintw11.htm

And this: newadvent.org/cathen/15622a.htm

Peace.


#4

Jim, thank you , that’s the one. I hadn’t realized that Rome (“officially” at least) “suppressed the cult” in 1969. Apparently the suppression hasn’t ever stopped the peasants in the far reaches of the southern Appenines ( the Molise region, where my family’s from). They seem to still go about it just fine , as do their relatives / descendants here in America, on a yearly basis, with a regular priest performing the Mass. So, I don’t know. But yes, that is the image. I have a statue and several Italian “prayer cards” of the very same image you saw on that page. You can’t find them anywhere here in America.

I had never heard of her being called “Wilgefortis” before, but that is probably more of a northern European name for her I suppose. But yes, the legend behind it is all the same; born to a pagan king, in Portugal, last of nine sisters, father betrothed her against her will to a pagan king in Sicily. She begged God to do anything to not let her be married to the Sicilian king, and one day she woke up “bearded”. Her father, in his fury that the marriage was clearly no longer tenable, had her crucified. The statue in the old country is actually not bearded, but is definitely crucified and bleeding from the hands, etc. On the July 20th feast I have seen a sort of “false beard” actually placed on her face, as bizarre as that may sound.

These rural regions of Italy ( and also Spain and Portugal as well I have read ) can sometimes have some certain ancient traditions which may seem bizarre or even “inappropriate” or whatever to outsiders. San Domenico di Cocullo for instance. Cocullo is a small Abruzzese town, not that far from where we’re from. On St. Joseph’s day some local men, known as the “serpari” (“snake men”) go out into the mountains and gather up snakes , which they then carefully feed and care for until San Domenico’s feast day which is in June. On that day, the statue of San Domenico is brought out into the piazza , and the gathered (and now well-fed and cared for) snakes are brought out and draped all over the statue of the saint. They continue to rest and writhe and coil around his head even as the Mass is said, (oftentimes feast day Mass is still in Latin or local “dialects” - which are like part old “barracks Latin” and part local Italian - in these parts) , and the processional around the village takes place with the local men and women carrying the be-snaked saint back to the local Church. More recently, Calabrese people ( a little further south of us) and their relatives here in America, they have made a whole virtual “cult” of the deceased holy man and now Saint Padre Pio who had received in his lifetime the Stigmata.


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