After 7 years, from 21st to 27th August the Guardia Sanframondi rites return with the evocative procession of the “flagellanti” in honor of the Virgin Mary Assumption
The time for the Next Seven Rites, one of the most special, original and discussed world events, is scheduled to take place in Guardia Sanframondi (Benevento) from 21 to 27 August 2017.
The complex religious event will transform the city into a living church that will lead the streets as a symbol of their own identity: the famous statue of the Assumption, housed in a glass bowl, in the apse of the Mother Church, where three keys, following an ancient Ritual, open the glass allowing everyone an exciting and direct contact with the icon of Virgin Mary. The Cult also returns, not formal, but full of truth.
The Seven Rites
Rites, occurs every 7 years, the number that according to the Bible indicates completeness, they are the result of an ancient devotion to the wooden statue of Our Virgin Mary of the Assumption.
During the one week of rites, the various districts alternate in procession of the mysteries, to reproduce real living tables and sacred scenes.
In August a lot of people meet into the medieval village to observe the processions of the beat one's breast: white hooded and stained with red, with their blood flowing on the crucifixes holded in one hand.
The beat one's breast
In the processions, the beat one's breast, hundreds of faithful, are covered with white hoods to ensure anonymity, which are beated with iron chains.
Between them there are also the beat one's breast. They beat the chest, bleeding, with a sponge, a cork disc with 33 sharp metal tips (33 like the years of Christ), kept straight from a layer of wax. At each step they hit the chest as a sign of contrition and deep faith.
But Rites are not just the “flagellanti” and their blood. In this original and unique manifestation of spirituality, which unites the solemn Christian liturgy and uncontrollable popular religiosity, there are also the mysteries.
The four neighborhood (Croce, Portella, Fontanella and Piazza), with a rigorous sequence, organize two processions, the first of penance and the second of communion.
During the processions there are scenes from the Bible, Gospels and History built by groups of citizens who for seven days undress their identity to become devils, saints, or angels. For hours, they stop the body in plastic positions to form living cadres.
Sunday moring, every neighborhood with its mysteries converges to the courtyard of the Sanctuary of the Assumption, in the day when the statue of the Virgin, covered with gold, is brought in procession through the streets of the city after the Mass to which they participate as well as the beat one's breast.
This is penance too, combined with a veil of theatricality, necessary in sacred representations and in all forms of religious theater. The rituals, thanks also to the mysteries, set in the scene a human confession, communion and collective purification.
Guardia Sanframonti has the strong spiritual bond with the Virgin Mary of the Assumption and the historical and cultural value of an ancient tradition that continues today.
MAY 21 AUGUST
From the Church of San Rocco (Largo Croce) - Procession of penance of the RACE CROCE from 8.00 am to 2.00 pm
Tuesday, August 22
From the Church of San Sebastiano (Piazza Duomo) - Procession of Penitence of the PORTELLA District from 8.00 am to 2.00 pm
From the Church of San Rocco (Largo Croce) - Communion procession of the RACE CROCE from 8.00 am to 2.00 pm
WEDNESDAY 23 AUGUST
From the Church of San Leonardo (Piazza Canalicchio) - Procession of penance of the Fontana district from 8.00 am to 2.00 pm
From the Church of San Sebastiano (Piazza Duomo) - Communion procession of the PORTELLA district from 8.00 am to 2.00 pm
THURSDAY 24 AUGUST
From the Church A.G.P. (Strada Filippo Maria Guidi) - Procession of penance of Rione PIAZZA from 8.00 am to 2.00 pm
From the Church of San Leonardo (Piazza Canalicchio) - Communion procession of the Fontana district from 8.00 am to 2.00 pm
FRIDAY 25 AUGUST
From the Church A.G.P. (Strada Filippo Maria Guidi) - Communion procession of Rione PIAZZA from 8.00 am to 2.00 pm
SATURDAY 26 AUGUST
Church A.G.P., Strada Filippo Maria Guidi, Shrine of the Assumption - Procession of the Clergy and Catholic Associations
Opening of the Sacred icon glass 9.30 am
SUNDAY 27 AUGUST
General procession from 8am to 6pm