Introduction - Part Two
Today, as then, in gratitude for the health regained after the terrible plague, the city of Cagliari and all of Sardinia enact a reverent ceremony retracing every step of the Holy Martyr Saint Efisio. For more than 300 years, every May 1st, the whole of Sardinia accompany their patron in this traditional, unique procession retracing the steps of Saint Efisio from the place of his captivity and martyrdom in Nora to the Church of Stampace where his relics still remain.
The Procession is composed by more than 3,500 people, dressed with traditional clothes of Gallura, Ogliastra, Sulcis, Logudoro, Barbagia (historical Sardinian sub regions) and accompanied by 200 horsemen divided into three main groups: Campidanesi, Miliziani and Guardiania. Each group is escorted by municipal Mazzieri of the court, the AlterNos, the Clergy, and soldiers from the Army and Police officers all in their best uniforms and on horseback.
One of the most evocative moments of the ceremony is the dressing of the statue of the Patron Saint with gold and precious ornaments to prepare him for his trip.
Everything is perfectly organized and planned in great detail even the choice of the oxen that pull the precious Saint's chariot and the ornaments that are kept hidden and safe until the ceremony which takes place on 1st of May.