from March 19, 2018 to April 09, 2018

Easter Monday

The procession in which the Confraternity of Gonfalone (Flag) carries the simulacrum of Sant'Efisio by G. A. Lonis from its seat in Stampace up to the cathedral, on Easter Monday, is an interlude in Holy Week rites.

The origin of the ceremony goes back to 1793, when the warrior martyr is believed to have saved Cagliari from the French siege by Admiral Troguet, at the time of the great Jacobin revolution. The cortège of brothers and sisters leaves the church of Sant'Efisio at 08.00 a.m. and reaches the hill of Castello stopping at the Capuchins church. There, the statue is laid at the foot of the main altar, on the outer side of a grating that separates the public area from the monastery, where the nuns sing some hymns in honour of the martyr.

Then, the procession starts again and passes through the Lions Gate and the Eagle's Gate, opened in the ancient southern ramparts of Castello, to reach the cathedral and attend to the solemn mass in fulfilment of the vow. Eventually, after the singing of is goccius (hymns), the cortège takes its way back to the church of Sant'Efisio, following the same itinerary.

In the evening, a solemn procession takes place in the Municipality of Pirri, in honour of Santa Maria Chiara.

The worship of Santa Maria Chiara dates back to the first half of the 13th century, when the Cistercian Order built a monastery dedicated to the Virgin in the area between Pirri and Cagliari, at the foot of the hill of Monte Claro, which owes its name to the worship itself.

Over the centuries, while the nearby settlement of Villa Sancta Maria de Claro progressively decreased, until it disappeared from the historical documents, the place of worship became a simple hermitage and eventually a small rural church. That is why, shortly after 1584, the statue of Santa Maria Chiara was saved from a fate of neglect by moving it from Monte Claro to the church of San Pietro Apostolo in Pirri.

The celebrations of Easter Monday recall precisely that translation.

At about 8.00 pm, the procession leaves the park of Monte Claro. The statue of the Virgin, sculpted by Raffaello Sanfilippo from Cagliari, is extracted from a niche dug in the early 2000s to allow the symbolic return of Santa Maria Chiara to the place where her cult originated. Crossing the streets of the Municipality of Pirri, the procession leads the simulacrum to the church of San Pietro Apostolo, starting point of the celebrations of the day after.


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