Visiting Enna without seeing the Sanctuary of Papardura is like visiting Palermo without seeing Monreale. It is a unique place. No tour guide can skip it.
On September 13 and 14, there is a special festival. Both gates to the sanctuary are open and the faithful make special devotional cakes called cuddureddi. They are made of water and flower and have a special shape, for they look like intertwined rings. They are also hard to eat.
The cuddureddi date back to Demeter’s time. Once people decorated them with poppy seeds. These days they are plain, for the poppy was too reminiscent of the pagan goddess Demeter to whom it was sacred.
Inside the church, above the altar, is the holy image of Jesus on the Calvary, imprinted on the rock. Both the altar and the church are a continuation of the cave where long ago the holy image was found.
According to a historian from Enna, called Father Giovanni, in the year 1659 Jesus appeared to a Franciscan nun and asked her to clean a cave in Papardura because there was his image on the rock. The cave was cleaned and actually, the image of Jesus appeared.
Apart from its sacredness, the place deserves to be visited for its beauty and for the landscape in which it is inserted.
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