360th Feast of Sant'Efisio

Sunday May 01, 2016

The solemn Vows

The grand celebrations performed in May in honour of Saint Efisio dates back to the XVII century. The epidemic of plague which hit the island in the middle of the century is remembered as one of the most tragic episodes experienced by Sardinia in the modern times, as for its duration and for the number of victims. On 11 July 1652, the municipality of Cagliari begged the Saint to protect the city from the disease promising to honour him every year with a procession.

On May 1659, the first procession was carried out: the simulacrum of the Saint was taken to the little church in Nora with the town authorities and the representatives of the cities freed from the disease. However, the Saint helped Cagliari a second time, in a marvellous way. Between 17 and 18 February 1793, the French fleet led by the Admiral Truguet besieged Cagliari with a heavy bombardment. The people of Cagliari invoked the Saint and the popular troops led by Gerolamo Pitzolo warded off the French troops landed on the beach of Quartu Sant'Elena. The Saint was then called "the supreme commander of soldiers".

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