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, 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.
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!