The cult of Mary in Bronte explodes in August in the centuries-old feast of Maria Santissima
Annunziata, Patron of Bronte, that throughout the
centuries has protected the town from the lava flows and from the devastating fury of Etna.
The brontese people is devoutly tied by feelings of ancient
and profound religiosity to their patron saint to whom many
times has prayed so that she would placate the
destructive fury of Etna.
The cult and devotion of Bronte to the Madonna has ancient origins:
the Annunciated church existed already before the unification
of the 24
And it was in this occasion (1535 - 1548),
that, by order of Carlo V, all the settlements and farmhouses had to
be united in the ancient
Bronte, that the church was rebuilt and enlarged, and, after the arrival
of the statue towards 1543,
the rising new city was put under the protection of the Annunciated
Lady, giving to the inhabitants that had been, until then, spread in
the old settlements, a new common identity.
From 1821, in the month of August,
with great fervor and participation, the marble group of the Virgin
Annunciated and the Angel Gabriel (work by A.
Gagini preserved in the church
of the Annunciated) is brought in procession in the streets of
Bronte, over a wagon trained by oxen.
Tells the legend of the
"barter" and of the "journey" of the
statue of the Annunciated to Bronte and of the "new
identity" that the inhabitants of the 24 Settlements found in
their Lady Protector.
Sanctuary of the Annunciated is one of the most ancient churches of Bronte:
existed since before the unification of all the farmhouses in
Bronte, ordered by Carlo V in 1535.
On the left, the
statue of the Virgin and the Angel is work by the Sculptor Antonio Gagini
from Palermo (1543).
The wagon and the oxen respect the
tradition that reports as the Virgin statue
"Was bartered by Greek pirates to some
brontese shepherds with some "albaggio" (rustic drape that
was made then in Bronte).
asked a gentleman for a pair of bulls to transport the two statues to Bronte.
He gave them two wild, indomitable bulls that,
seeing the Virgin, bended down and let
themselves be meekly subdued; along the way the
forest trees stood aside to the passage of the
Arrived in Bronte the oxen made a circle as to mark
the site where had to rise, more grandiose, the
Radice, "Chiese, conventi, edifici pubblici in Bronte",
characteristic and touching moment of the procession
is the reconstruction of the Annunciation with
the flight of the angel ("a
The statues (Mary
and the Angel) are placed at the center of
Spedalieri square and a child, dressed as the angel
Gabriel, reaches slowly the Virgin from the sky,
sliding along a steel rope whose extremes are
attached to two, close by palaces.
The Virgin Mary is there, dressed with all the gold
given to her, during the
centuries, by the faithful
brontese citizens, while the Angel comes down in
front of her,
recites the Ave Maria, to announce the
miracle of the birth of Christ and offers her a Lily.
on the left is a scene from the flight of the Angel, the climax of the feast
of the Annunciated.