The Confraternity was founded in Cagliari in 1564, in 1618 it was joined to the Roman Archconfraternity “della SS. Vergine del Riscatto” and then promoted to Archconfraternity in 1796, with papal bull of Pope Pius VI, following the liberation of the city and the whole island from the Franco-Piedmontese invasion.
It always pronounces the dissolution of the Vow to the City of Cagliari and the Archbishopric, in the evening of May 4 by midnight: the president of the Archconfraternity pronounces the dissolution of the Vow in front of the civil and religious authorities, as well as to the devotees.
It is one of the oldest popular associations of Cagliari, which has seen over the centuries the membership of famous people, including the Savoy sovereigns Carlo Emanuele IV, Vittorio Emanuele I, Carlo Felice and their wives.
To become brothers, it is necessary to have a permission by the own parish and a formal request.
For two years the brother is supervised by the novice master, at the end of which, after a swearing ceremony, he wears penitential clothes: a blue garment on which a white and red cross is sewn and a whip on the left side, a white woollen small cape and a cord with a rosary.
The Archconfraternity has its headquarters in the Church of Saint Efisio, in Stampace district and today it has about one hundred and fifty members, divided in two distinct male and female branches of brothers and sisters.
Tel: 070 668632; e-mail: [email protected]; web: http://www.arcisantefisio.it
The Guardianìa and the Third Guardian
The members of the Guardianìa, also called "Is Dottoris" (because in the past they were notable citizens) have the role of “honour guard” of the Saint.
The Guardianìa was part of the Archconfraternity entrusted to take care of the processions and the functions of Thursday and Good Friday.
The Third Guardian is the Feast's representative and the main responsible for its organization. In particular, the Third Guardian, that brings in procession the banner of the Archconfraternity, was also responsible to travel to Pula for the transfer of the simulacrum of Sant'Efisio.
The Alter Nos
The Alter Nos represents the Municipality of Cagliari and in the ceremony symbolizes the official public thanks to the Saint.
At the time of the monarchy (the Spanish first, then Savoy) it was the Viceroy that, on behalf of the king, walked in procession for the Feast of Saint Efisio.
Today, this role is performed by a member of the City Administration.
The Alter Nos choice is at the discretion of the mayor, who confirms the appointment in April. After the appointment, the chosen one takes riding lessons, chooses the accessories for his tailored frac and starts taking part in the events of the Archconfraternity.
On May 1 the mace bearers, official guides of the highest town officers, lead the Alter Nos to the Town Hall in the presence of the Mayor. Here, in front of the Guardianìa, the official investiture takes place.
The Mayor decorates the Alter Nos with the "Golden Fleece", a solid gold medallion donated in 1679 by Charles II, King of Sardinia and Aragon. On the Golden Fleece stand effigies of the towers and the Savoy cross. Decorated with this jewel and bandaged by the tricolour, the Alter Nos proceeds towards Sant'Efisio's church where, at eleven the solemn Celebration in his honour takes place. During the Mass, sung in Latin, The Alter Nos is religiously consecrated, enclosing the two aspects of the Feast: civil and religious.
The representative of the Municipality follows the chariot of the Saint even in the later stages out of town until the return on May 4 in the church of Sant'Efisio.