A TASTE OF HISTORY OF SICILY: THE LEGATIO APOSTOLICA

The Kingdom of Sicily, which later would also include the whole southern Italy with Palermo as its capital, was given the privilege of ruling over the clergy in Sicily. This happened in 1098, during the pontificate of Pope Urban II who appointed Count Roger I as head of the Catholic Church in Sicily to reward him for the victory over the Arabs.

This royal prerogative was called the Legatio Apostolica (Apostolic Legacy) according to which the Kings of Sicily were entitled to rule over the Catholic Church in Sicily. The pope had no power over the clergy and his acts needed to be ratified by the king to be effective in Sicily.

Over the years, the popes tried to put an end to such a prerogative, but to no avail. Even King Vittorio Amedeo di Savoia, who was appointed King of Sicily according to the Treaty of Utrecht, jailed the priests who sided with the pope. At the time, in my hometown of Enna, four priests sided with the pope, others with the king.

The Legatio Apostolica lasted until 1864, a few years after Sicily became part of the kingdom of Italy.

Ettore Grillo author of these books:

– November 2: The Day of the Dead in Sicily

– A Hidden Sicilian History

– The Vibrations of Words

– Travels of the Mind

http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo

AN OLD SICILIAN REMEDY TO GET RID OF ROUNDWORMS

Aunt Filippa removed the plate from my head and put it, along with the small cup, on the near table. She then asked me to lift my T‐shirt and bare my belly. Finally, she made certain arcane signs on my stomach and at the same time said a special secret prayer in a low voice, which she repeated three times. Since I was a curious boy by nature, with very fine hearing and an excellent memory, I heard and imprinted in my mind the secret prayer to cut roundworms, which I now disclose both in the original Sicilian and in English:

RAZZIONI PPI TAGLIARI I VIRMI

Tagliu li virmi ne stu curpu

Tagliu uttu e tagliu novi.

Tagliu li virmi ne stu cori.

Luni santu, Marti santu, Mircuri santu,

Iuvi santu, Venniri santu, Sabbatu santu,

A duminica di Pasqua.

Mori lu vermi e ‘n terra cadi.

PRAYER TO CUT ROUNDWORMS

Cut the roundworms in this body

I cut eight and I cut nine.

I cut the roundworms in this heart.

Holy Monday, Holy Tuesday, Holy Wednesday

Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday,

Easter Sunday.

The roundworm dies and falls onto the floor.

When her prayer was over, she recommended I drink a small glass of olive oil with squeezed lemon and raw mashed garlic the following day in the early morning. I followed her instructions, and I have to say that I actually excreted a lot of roundworms. Some of them were dead and some looked dazed.

This is an excerpt from A Hidden Sicilian History.

Ettore Grillo author of these books:

– November 2: The Day of the Dead in Sicily

– A Hidden Sicilian History

– The Vibrations of Words

– Travels of the Mind

http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo

GREAT MUSIC PLAYED BY A BEGINNER

The book of Revelation, or Apocalypse, tells of an angel who plays the trumpet. There is closeness between religion and music. Famous is Saint Augustine’s saying, he who sings prays twice. It means that if one praises God by music or songs, his prayer is more effective than prayers made of spoken words.

Music is a universal language. Everybody can understand and feel it. Even with the extraterrestrials we can communicate through music. Music is a path toward God. I can’t imagine paradise without music.

As I searched for an answer to my basic question, is there life after death? I couldn’t miss this important path to God, music. But what to do? At that time I was sixty-three years old. My hands and brain were too stiff to play a musical instrument. Nevertheless, I wanted to study music. So, I started learning the piano.”

This is an excerpt from the autobiographical novel The Vibrations of Words

 Ettore Grillo author of these books:

– November 2: The Day of the Dead in Sicily

– A Hidden Sicilian History

– The Vibrations of Words

– Travels of the Mind

http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo

A SICILIAN NATURAL REMEDY TO CURE LUNG DISEASES

Today, while I was buying ricotta at a farm, I had a peep at the sheepfold. I saw about two hundred ewes and a few rams. A man with a baby in his arms was also standing in the middle of the fold.

While I was waiting for ricotta to be ready, the sheep left the fold but the man remained there. He was well dressed and looked like a distinguished gentleman.

“What is he doing?” I asked the shepherd.

He replied, “The baby girl in his arms is suffering from whooping cough. The fumes of the dung will heal her. The fold is the best place to cure lung diseases, flu, fever, and more.”

At that moment I recalled the great philosopher George Ivanovic Gurdjieff. He treated the writer Katherine Mansfield, who was suffering from tuberculosis, in the same way. He send her to sleep in the stable.

Gurdjieff couldn’t cure Katherine Mansfield, for she died a week later, but according to the Sicilian shepherd, many children got over their diseases by standing in the sheepfold. Try it to believe it!

 Ettore Grillo author of these books:

– November 2: The Day of the Dead in Sicily

– A Hidden Sicilian History

– The Vibrations of Words

–  Travels of the Mind

http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo

Cuccìa, a Traditional Sicilian Dish

December 13, 1934

Today is the feast of Santa Lucia, a saint from Syracuse who was martyred under the emperor Diocletian. She is the patron saint of the blind and people with limited eyesight.

As usual, there are processions on her day, and the statue of the saint is carried on a litter along the streets of Enna. On this day, many families in Enna make a special meal called cuccı̀a. It is a ritual meal that was made in ancient Greece on the day of the commemoration of the dead. Nowadays in Sicily, the cuccìa is cooked on the day of the Feast of Santa Lucia. It is made from boiled wheat seasoned with chocolate or sweet ricotta, honey, and pieces of candied fruit.

On this day, my sister Carolina cooks cuccìa in a big cauldron and then invites all our neighbors to taste it. Even though I don’t like cuccìa, I really enjoy the coming and going of our neighbors who crowd my home all day long.

This is an excerpt from the diary of Vincenzo Chiaramonte in A Hidden Sicilian History

Ettore Grillo author of these books:

– November 2: The Day of the Dead in Sicily

– A Hidden Sicilian History

– The Vibrations of Words

–  Travels of the Mind

http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo

AN AMATEUR LULLABY FOR THE DEAD

November 2 is a special day in Sicily. The Day of the Dead is considered an important festival, when children receive gifts from the dead and eat special bone-shaped cakes. Cemeteries are overcrowded with people walking in the avenues, placing flowers at gravesites, and lighting candles in their tombs. Many Sicilian tombs look like small houses: They contain a room, an altar, and marble-walled niches.

AN AMATEUR LULLABY FOR THE DEAD – YouTube

Mario Chiaramonte goes to the cemetery on this day. Besides visiting the tombs of his relatives and friends, he strolls throughout the graveyard. On his walk, he stumbles on some special tombs. A few have an epitaph carved on the tombstone or above the altar.

The tombs he visits house the bodies of a Mafia boss, a literary man, a poet, a nobleman, and more. Mario recalls the salient moments of their lives, and at the same time sees himself from a different detached perspective.

Romance, adventure, life, death, the Mafia, good and evil, racism, and impermanence are themes throughout the novel. November 2: The Day of the Dead in Sicily by Ettore Grillo is thought provoking and captivating from beginning to end.
http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo

MUSIC, WORDS, AND VIBRATIONS

The Vibrations of Words is the second book I have written.

The novel is set in Sicily, India, and Israel.

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I learned the power of the vibrations of words while visiting Israel. My teacher was a young man I met by chance near the Sea of Galilee. He said that words vibrate according to the quality of speech. Good words produce good vibrations, while bad words, like malicious gossip and slander create bad vibrations. Of course, good or bad vibrations as well as good or bad music affect our lives. Bad words pollute the air and create mental diseases in the person the utters them.

In India, I deepened this topic by studying mantras and traditional musical instruments.

Learning about the vibrations of words changed my life. I strongly recommend it.

http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo

TRAVELS TO DEFEAT ANXIETY AND PANIC ATTACKS

Travels of the Mind is set in the lounge of a club of noblemen, in a small Sicilian city. It is the first book I have written. This is the second edition.

A few members of the club of the noblemen, sitting in the lounge, tell each other their travel stories. They also discuss topics related to their travels, like love, understanding the mind, afterlife, and so on.

WIN 20210520 18 16 34 Pro – YouTube

Besides being a travel guide, it is also a self-help book. The main character in the novel got over his anxiety and panic attacks thanks to the help of people he met during his travels. One of these is a mystic woman, named Natuzza Evolo, who lived in Calabria, a region near Sicily.

The book tells real travels to Tanzania, Tokyo, London, New York, etcetera. Overall, it is enjoyable and easy to read.

http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo

A HISTORICAL NOVEL ABOUT THE AFTERLIFE

A Hidden Sicilian History is a historical novel based on an old manuscript which was found in the city library of Enna, Sicily.

In the second edition, I have improved the style and added a few details about Sicilian culture and Marian Sanctuaries.

The Sicilian proverbs and prayers are written not only in English but also in the Sicilian language.

The background of the book is Sicily and other countries: India, France, Portugal, Belgium, Russia, Australia, and Mexico.

Vincenzino, the main character in the novel, travels across the world to find an answer to the eternal human question: is there life after death? In the end, he will find a way out of his dilemma.

A Hidden Sicilian History will give the reader useful information about traditional processions, prayers to remove roundworms and hexes, life in the sulfur mines and in the public whorehouse, and so on.

I am sure you will enjoy this book.

http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo

THE NIGHT OF SAINT JOHN IN OLD SICILY

The birth of John the Baptist coincides with the summer solstice. On this day people start bonfires, which are symbol of purification, and pluck special herbs, above all, the hypericum, also called Saint-John’s-wort.

In Sicily, it was believed that on the eve of Saint John’s day it was possible to make predictions about the future.  Girls of marriageable age performed some rituals to get to know the man they would marry and his job.

One of the rituals was the following:

The evening before the night of Saint John, they took three broad beans. They then peeled one, left another intact, and peeled only half of the third broad bean. Before going to sleep, they put the three broad beans under their pillows. The morning after, as soon as they woke up, they took out one of the broad beans under their pillows at random. If it was the peeled one, they would marry a poor man; if it was the one half-peeled, their marriage would be so-so; finally, if it was the unpeeled broad bean, they would have a happy marriage!

Do girls perform such rituals these days? I don’t think so. Perhaps, even marriage has become an obsolete institution!

Ettore Grillo author of these books:

– November 2: The Day of the Dead in Sicily

– A Hidden Sicilian History

– The Vibrations of Words

– Travels of the Mind

http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo