360th Feast of Sant'Efisio

Sunday May 01, 2016

The Procession

On 1 May, the procession is opened by the "Tracas" which are carts towed by decorated oxen. To the feast, thirty or forty carts usually participate coming from different towns of the province of Cagliari. Then, there are folkloristic groups wear- ing the typical Sardinian clothes who sing or say some prayers of the Sardinian tradition called gocius. Behind these groups, there are the horses. The Cavalieri del Campidano (Campidano's Horsemen) start the parade with horses decorated with cockades and rosettes. After them, it is the turn of the Miliziani (Militiamen) with harquebus and sabres. The procession with the horses continues with the Guardianìa, who march wearing a tailcoat, a top hat and a blue strip in the hips. In the front row, the Third Guardian keeps the standard of the Archconfraternity.

With a tailcoat, a top hat and a strip representing the Italian flag the Alter Nos, representing the mayor of Cagliari, continues the procession. Then the members of the Archconfraternity of the Gonfalone continue the procession: the first of them keeps a crucifix of the XVIII century. Two of them called "the Collaterals" stay on the sides of the coach to open its doors to allow people to put flowers, offerings, ex-votos and supplications in, when the procession stops. The arrival of the coach with the simulacrum is announced by the sound of launeddas, a typical Sardinian wind instrument. A big yoke of oxen decorated with flowers and driven by Su Carradori tows the coach. In Via Roma, in front of the dignitaries' stand the coach continues its procession on a carpet of flowers (sa ramadura), welcomed by the sirens of the boats docked in the port. It is very touching, above all because the crowd goes towards the Saint to beg for a grace. Then the coach con- tinues its road to Nora with the believers who made the vow to walk.


10:00 a.m. - The traditional Campidano carts, called “Tracas”, open the procession.
There will be about 3500 people in traditional costume from all over Sardinia following them; 200 people will be riding horses who are divided into 3 main groups: Campidanesi, Miliziani and the Guardiania.

12:00 noon -The Original Departure is from the Church of St Efisio then the procession will take the following route:

Via Azuni, Piazza Yenne, Corso Vittorio Emanuele, Via Sassari, Piazza del Carmine, Via Crispi, Via G.M. Anjoy, Via Mameli, Largo Carlo Felice, Via Roma (City Hall side), Via Sassari, Viale La Playa, Villaggio Pescatori in Giorgino at the Church of St. Efisio (arrival around 3 p.m);

In the afternoon of 1 May, theProcession stops in Giorgino in a small private Church of St Efisio. All the jewels are removed and the clothes are replaced by simpler ones. The statue is put in a travelling coach called "the country coach". Then the procession continues to Maddalena Spiaggia, where many devotees come from the near town Capoterra (called before the city of Saint Efisio).

The third stop is done at "Su Loi", where a mass is celebrated. At sunset, the procession arrives at the chapel of the beautiful Villa d'Orri of the marquis of Villa Hermosa where it is given the Eucharistic blessing. At the end, the procession starts again and arrives at Sarroch. The coach is led to the church of Santa Vittoria where a solemn mass is celebrated and here people will stay to sleep.

On 2 May, the procession arrives at Villa San Pietro, town introduced in the feast in 1943, and then at Pula. At about midday, the coach arrives at Pula and the town and religious authorities welcome it. On the bridge called "Su Rondò", the Alter Nos entrusts to the mayor of Pula the task to go on with the celebrations.

Then, in the church of San Giovanni Battista, a solemn mass is celebrated. After a stop in front of the cemetery and in front of the little church of San Raimondo, the Saint is given to the Archconfratenity and escorted to Nora where it arrives at around 9 p.m.

The simulacrum is then put in a niche. During the whole day, on 3 May the Saint is commemorated with masses and celebrations. At 6 p.m., there is the procession along the coast and the Saint is taken out of the coach and carried on shoulders to visit again the place of his martyrdom. The 4 May, it is the day of the return and the same itinerary is done to go back to Cagliari.

Time table:

May the 2nd
8.00 a.m. -  Holy Mass.
Departure towards Villa San Pietro.
Procession, Mass and departure to Pula: the local authorities, and the Confraternity of the faithful await the saint's arrival to join the procession through the streets of the village.
Mass and lunch

6.00 p.m. - Celebration of High Mass before the statue’s departure to Nora.

Feast in front of the simulacrum to commemorate the deceased.
A little stop in front of the cemetery to commemorate the deceased.
Blessing in the church of San Raimondo.
Departure to Nora: the procession stops near the Navy Marina for the flag-lowering ceremony and then departs to Nora where Mass will be held.

May the 3rd
7.30a.m. - Mass until 11:00, celebrated outdoors by the Ordinary Diocesan.
6.30p.m. - Procession with the statue from the excavations in Nora up to the beach.

Mass and departure to Pula.

May the 4th
8.00a.m. - Departure from Pula after the Mass: arrival in Cagliari around 10.30 p.m.

May the 5th

Holy Mass.

Afternoon: from the 5th until the 25th of May a “Novena” is read in honor of the Saint.
Starting May 22nd, forty hours of veneration for the saint begin: in this occasion the Rosary of Efisio's entire life is recited.
On May 25th the celebration of festivities in honor of St Efisio officially ends.

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