The patron saint of Palermo is Santa Rosalia, who is widely venerated. On 14 July, people in Palermo celebrate the Festino, the most important religious event of the year. The Festino is a procession in the main street of Palermo to remember the miracle attributed to Santa Rosalia who, it is believed by the vast majority of people, freed the city from the Black Death in 1624. The cave where the bones of Santa Rosalia were discovered is on Monte Pellegrino (see above): when her relics were carried around the city three times, the plague was lifted. There is a Santuario marking the spot and can be reached via a scenic bus ride from the city below.
Before 1624 Palermo had four patron saints, one for each of the four major parts of the city. They were Saint Agatha, Saint Christina, Saint Ninfa and Saint Olivia.
Saint Lucy is also honoured with a peculiar celebration, during which inhabitants of Palermo do not eat anything made with flour, but boil wheat in its natural state and use it to prepare a special dish called cuccìa. This commemorates the saving of the city from famine through the intercession of St Lucia. A ship full of grain mysteriously arrived in the city's harbour and the population was so hungry that they did not waste time in making flour but ate the grain as it had arrived.
Saint Benedict the Moor is the heavenly protector of the city of Palermo.
The ancient patron of the city was the Genius of Palermo, genius loci and numen protector of the place, that became the laic patron of the modern Palermo.
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... Most local festivals in San Andrés focus on the various patron saints of the neighborhoods and outlying communities ... Each has a church dedicated to its patron saint and some have more than one ... receive a "visit" by the image of another saint from another neighborhood ...
... Patron saints of ailments, illness and dangers Patron saints of occupations and activities Patron saints of places Titles of Mary ...
... and their cult was further glorified in 1980 when Pope John Paul II declared them the patron saints of Europe ...
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