Cammarata -San Giovanni Gemini

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Feast of the SS. crocifisso della pioggia

an ancient tradition in the Gianguarna district

The end of August

The origins of the party

The story dates back to 1751, when some Burgetans, who were carrying an image of the Crucifix made in Palermo, were forced to stop in Cammarata and take shelter in the church of the Annunziata due to the raging storm. The rain stopped prodigiously when the Crucifix was introduced into the church and that

prompted the Burgetans to resume their journey. Suddenly the sky darkened and a more violent storm broke out with such showers of rain that the image of the Crucifix was brought back to the church and placed on the high altar. The repeated attempts of the following days were unsuccessful and then the divine will became clear. The Benedictine nuns of the monastery, annexed to the church, worked to find the sum requested as compensation by the Burgetans, so that the Crucifix remained in their church, and Providence manifested itself in a young nun, who had been denied profession because she was blind. Accepted to solemn vows, the Crucifix was purchased with the dowry, which manifested its first miracle on the young nun, giving her sight again.

 

Another prodigy the tradition highlights, which explains the elongated position of the legs of Christ, not common in the canons of sculptural art, which usually reproduce Christ with the legs contracted up. After the solemn thanksgiving services in the small church of the Annunziata, all the faithful and nuns approached the venerated Crucifix to kiss it. Not being able to have a nun because of her small stature, she prayed with such fervor that she too would be allowed to put her lips on Christ's tortured feet, that her legs stretched, remaining in that position, in which we can admire him today.

The church of the Annunziata

In the lower part of the town, probably called Gianguarna with a word of Arab origin, stands the little church of the Annunziata, originally dedicated to S. Maria degli Infermi. It preserves unchanged, at least in the 16th century pronaos, the ancient architectural forms. This opens with a large pointed arch, which serves as an elevation to the church; on the right side there are two other pointed arches, resting on columns surmounted by pulvini, adorned with symbolic sculptures. A square-shaped one has recently been built to the old bell gable. Attached to the church stood the Benedictine monastery; built in the 15th century by Count Abatellis, at the end of the 18th century it was destroyed by a landslide, which fortunately spared the church.

The interior of the church, with one nave, is decorated with fine eighteenth-century pure gold stuccoes. On the wall of the internal façade of the church you can still see an ancient fresco that is barely decipherable, which perhaps represents the Coronation of the Virgin. There is a large canvas representing the Penitent Magdalene attributed to the school of Guido Reni, coming from the homonymous ruined church, another eighteenth-century canvas depicting the Annunciation of the Virgin and artistic wooden statues, such as that of the

Madonna Annunziata and that of S. Giacomo Apostolo, coming from the church that was dedicated to him. The most precious image for the Cammaratesi is that of the Crucifix, called della Pioggia, linked to a prodigious story, which is entrusted to us by tradition and reported by Domenico Di Marco. source:  Sicilian villages book of the Sicilian Bibliographic Institute

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