The Procession of “Encounter”, (L’Incontro) in honour of Lady of the Assumption (the Virgin Mary) Capena (Lazio-Italy)

Great reportage  from CASA CAPENA , official site, managed by Mrs JULIET HAYDOCK  (thanks a lot !).

The video (2 min.) i made editing 3 other videos found on YouTube ( i don’t know the name of authors,but thanks)

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From Juliet Haydock:

Santa Maria Assunta

the festival of Santa Maria Assunta

the festival of Santa Maria Assunta, 2011

This is the village’s main festival and is celebrated on a night between 13 and 15 August. It involves two famous icons of Our Lady of the Assumption (the Virgin Mary) and Jesus mounted on two very heavy plinths.

The origins of the tradition are very ancient. Some historians believe it dates back to the Triumphs celebrated in honour of the Roman emperors, which were later incor­porated into the Christian religion to become the Triumph of Jesus the Saviour and Our Lady of the Assumption.

Under Pope Adeodatus (672–6), it was decided that the Festival of the Assumption should take place in Rome during the night between 14 and 15 August. The tradition then spread throughout Lazio, where it has continued to this day with very few interruptions.

The procession held in Capena varies slightly since it is based on the popular belief that the Madonna has lost her Son and searches for him desperately for three days. When she finally finds him, she runs to meet him.

a red banner honours those carrying the icon of Jesus

a red banner honours those carrying Jesus

Very late on the night of 13 August, eight men carry the baldachin or canopy bearing the icon of Jesus from the chiesetta down through the village to the entrance of the former Monastery of the Monks of San Paolo and leave it to stand there throughout the night and the following day.

On 14 August, the icon is visited by the faithful from Capena and surrounding villages, who come to pray to the Saviour.

On the night of 14 August, amid a charged atmosphere of expectation with the streets lined with people, two processions set out from opposite ends of the village, one bearing the baldachin with the very fine effigy of Our Lady, the other bearing the baldachin with the icon of Jesus.

a blue banner honours those bearing the effigy of the Virgin Mary

a blue banner honours those bearing the effigy of the Virgin Mary

At the moment when the two processions catch sight of one another, the bearers (who are members of a special Broth­erhood and wear special white robes with cloaks – blue for those carrying Mary and red for those carrying Jesus, as shown in the picture above right) sprint as fast as they can toward one another: no mean feat given the weight of the icons.

They converge in the very centre of the village, to great rejoicing, embraces, fireworks and even a few tears from the older residents. In the Capena photo gallery there’s a picture of the fireworks erupting as the two processions meet.

The icons are then escorted in procession back to the ancient chiesetta. On the following day, the two images are borne back to Piazza del Popolo, where the priest blesses the icons and everyone in the village.

As part of this ceremony, one family in the village is given a small bronze statue of the Virgin Mary to keep for one year. The family keeps it devoutly in their home until the next 14 August, when they give it back to the parish priest, together with a donation to the church.

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2 pensieri su “The Procession of “Encounter”, (L’Incontro) in honour of Lady of the Assumption (the Virgin Mary) Capena (Lazio-Italy)

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