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Sicily High and Dry

The gardens of the Conca d’Oro, which surround Palermo with a magnificent belt of verdure, were withering. Food was becoming scarce. The people were in great alarm. All the most approved methods of procuring rain had been tried without effect. Men, women, and children, telling their beads, had lain whole nights before the holy images. Consecrated candles had burned day and night in the churches. Palm branches, blessed on Palm Sunday, had been hung on the trees. At Salaparuta, in accordance with a very old custom, the dust swept from the churches on Palm Sunday had been spread on the fields. In ordinary years these holy sweepings preserve the crops; but that year, if you will believe me, they had no effect whatever. At Nicosia the inhabitants, bareheaded and barefoot, carried the crucifixes through all the wards of the town and scourged each other with iron whips. It was all in vain. Even the great Saint Francis of Paola himself, who annually performs the miracle of rain and is carried every spring through the market gardens, either could not or would not help. Masses, vespers, concerts, illuminations, fireworks—nothing could move him. At last the peasants began to lose patience. Most of the saints were banished. At Palermo they dumped Saint Joseph in a garden to see the state of things for himself, and they swore to leave him there in the sun till rain fell. Other saints were turned, like naughty children, with their faces to the wall. Others again, stripped of their beautiful robes, were exiled far from their parishes, threatened, grossly insulted, ducked in horse ponds. At Licata the patron saint, Saint Angelo, was left without any garments at all; he was reviled, he was put in irons, he was threatened with drowning or hanging. “Rain or the rope!” roared the angry people at him, as they shook their fists in his face.
– James G. Frazer, Sicily, 1893

4 Comments

  1. Irv Sutley July 31, 2022

    Dr. Zack is my personal physician when it comes to getting the true history of parts of Christians and Christianity. and my spiritual advisor on women’s equality. who wrote what I tend to believe is parody: ‘What Do Men Want” as well as his Ode to the Girl in the Rose City tattoo who kike the Sirens of old drew those with the Evil Appendage into a state of erection, then rejection, and finally disappointment when told, “here’s your change, Next”

    • Pat Kittle July 31, 2022

      Irv:

      Little censorship prevents us “getting the true history of parts of Christians and Christianity.”

      Unlike with Jews & Judaism.

      BTW, your Freudian slip is showing — you do mean “like,” don’t you?
      :-)

    • Irv Sutley July 31, 2022

      Apologies for “kike” shoulda beem LIKE

  2. Pat Kittle August 2, 2022

    I forgive you this time.

    Don’t let it happen again.

    :-(

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