Thursday, October 4, 2007

Gibelmanna and Cefalù

Along with about 80 Oliveri residents, I boarded a bus Wednesday morning and set out on a day trip to Gibelmanna and Cefalù. It took about 2 hours to reach The Sanctuary of Gibelmanna. There were two bus loads of us and the drivers did an excellent job on those twisting roads going up into the mountains. I don't think it was an accident that yesterday was chosen as today is the day of St. Francis of Assisi. This Sanctuary is occupied by Capuchins, an autonomous branch of the first Franciscan Order.

The Sanctuary of Gibelmanna is dedicated to the Madonna. Gibel el Mann is an Arabic name and refers to the mountain of manna. It was restored in the 1600's.

Inside are historical sacred pieces of art. One said to be made with sand and grasses. They represent the spirit of the poor and the simple Franciscan life.

The equal sided cross that was displayed in several places inside the church was of interest to me.

So, I looked for some information about it. It may have more meaning than this, but I'll share what I found.

The Patonce Cross is any form of cross which has expanded ends, like the Pattee Cross, but with each arm terminating in floriated points like the Fleurie Cross and Fleur-de-lis Cross. Sometimes there are two petals at the end of each arm, but usually three.
In heraldry, the three petals represent faith, wisdom and chivalry. The four arms spread these to the four corners of the world.
As a Christian Cross, the three petals represent the Trinity and the total twelve petals represent the Apostles.

Another second interesting thing was the railing along the steps leading up to the church. I haven't figured the significance of this yet.

The trip was put together by Padre Luigi and he gave the sermon at the Sanctuary. In street clothes he gave history and geography lessons while en route. He is the Priest at Oliveri's church.There is only one church in this town.

Tomorrow, I shall continue with more about this trip featuring the museum at Gibelmanna.

1 comment:

dm said...

Could the railing represent the crown of thorns?