On Good Friday the streets of Enna are swarming with tourists from all over Europe. Many churches are open, even those that usually are kept closed during the year, due to the shortage of priests.
The Church of Santa Chiara was open. It was adjacent to the ex-convent of the Franciscan Poor Clare Sisters. There were many tourists inside the church, who admired the artistic tiles on the floor and the graves of the soldiers who died in the First and Second World War.
Then, everybody moved to the cathedral from where the litters with the statues of Jesus and Our Lady of Sorrows were carried in procession.
I think few tourists paid attention to the gratings both inside and outside the churches. Obviously, they didn’t know the history of Enna. They couldn’t know why there were gratings not only inside the churches but also in the external walls.
One time there were many monasteries, convents and churches in Enna. Many nuns were cloistered. They had no contact with the external world except through the gratings. They were able to look outside without being seen, for the gratings were very thick. They could see people in the church and, through the external gratings, they could also see the processions and people walking in the street.
These days there are no cloistered nuns anymore. The last were the Carmelite Sisters, who left Enna a few years ago. Now, the empty convents, churches and gratings witness the presence of the nuns that lived there.
Ettore Grillo author of these books:
– A Hidden Sicilian History
– The Vibrations of Words
-Travels of the Mind