Messina and the filial bond with the Madonna: the procession of Santa Maria di Gesù at the Retreat


By John

For the second consecutive year, on the day in which the church celebrates the birth of the Blessed Virgin Marythe community of Withdraw had the joy of accompanying the simulacrum of Saint Mary of Jesus.

A filial bond with the Madonna, over three centuries long; in 1643, two churches were named after her, deriving from each other and for this reason respectively called “superior” – at the bottom of the valley of Giostra a Ritiro – and “inferior”, at the mouth of the same. It was the Carmelite fathers who gave the name to the ancient building erected together with the convent on viale Giostra in the second half of the 12th century in Santa Maria di Gesù, later destroyed by the flood of 1854; the current building was built in 1934.

On 6 June 1971 the simulacrum of St. Mary of Jesus crossed the church door for the last time to cross the streets of the village; the work, in Roman cardboard, dates back to the mid-19th century. Was the parish priest Don Roberto Romeo to want to restore the tradition thus sealing the rebirth of a community which, under his guidance, has embarked on a new spiritual, cultural and social path in which local institutions, bodies and associations have been involved.

To animate the procession in which priests participated, the councilors of the qfifth Constituency Beatrice Belfiore and Giuseppe Puglisi and a representation of Diocesan interconfraternal centre chaired by Fortunato Marino, the Gaetano Celeste band of Camaro Superiore directed by Gianluca Sturniolo.

Before the procession, a solemn mass was celebrated in the presence of the faithful; to animate it there Schola Cantorum “Santa Maria di Gesù” directed by Alessandro Romeo and Gabriele Calogero.

Next Tuesday 12 September, in the archaeological site of the ancient church there will be the event “The bells rang in celebration”, sacred representation of the miraculous discovery of the simulacrum of Santa Maria di Gesù and singing of the hymn “Salve o bella, celeste Regina” , curated by the group “We narrators” and the Schola Cantorum “Santa Maria di Gesù”.