Enna has always been a city devoted to religion. In old times, the people of Enna buried the dead by digging small rooms in the rock, usually facing south. In the room, painted terracotta vases were placed next to the corpse. Tombs have been excavated that included well-preserved skeletons and red- and black-figure vases. Sometimes in the mouth of the skeleton was found a coin. The Greeks believed that to get to Hades (the kingdom of the dead), souls had to pay a fee of one coin to Charon, who ferried the dead across the Acheron, a river that divided the world of the living from that of the dead.
These days, the tombs in Enna look like small houses with niches inside. Sometimes an epitaph is engraved in the tomb. Here is one:
Death is a melter.
It gathers souls here and there.
Souls of the rich, souls of the poor,
Souls of the noble, souls of the plebeian.
It then puts them into its crucible where
All souls become ONE
This is an excerpt from November 2: The Day of the Dead in Sicily.
Since I have lived in Enna, I have never seen such mysterious signs in the sky.
My apartment faces west. Therefore, it is natural for me to watch sunset. Each sunset has its own charm but a few days ago, the fantastic sunset scene, observed by me so many times, took on a mysterious air: The sky was furrowed with strange drawings.
At first, I thought they were flocks of birds. However, I immediately ruled out such a hypothesis because in Sicily we do not have this kind of both sedentary and migratory birds that can gather in such large numbers.
The drawings could have been a kind of chemtrails, but no civilian or military aircraft has ever made such strange and extended swirls in the sky. So what were those signs? I do not dare to give any interpretation, but I think they were a form of language that conveyed a warning to humans. If any of you readers know more, let me know!
After two years of interruption, due to the reasons we all know, the confreres walk again the streets of Enna, wearing the ancient procession garments that date back to the time when Sicily was a Spanish colony.
One of the most ancient confraternities is that of Maria SS. Del Rosario. It was founded in 1542 under Spanish rule. Only they who belonged to the noble class were admitted to the confraternity. Their task was to assist those condemned to the stake and bury them. At the time, heretics and homosexuals were burned at the stake in large numbers.
In Enna, death sentences were enforced in the largest square, which is called Municipality Square. Near the scaffold was the small Church of the Lady of Sorrows, where the convict received the confession of sins and Holy Communion before filing towards the stake. Recent excavations in the Church of the Lady of Sorrows brought to light a crypt where those condemned to death spent the last hours of their lives.
These days, the confraternities have lost their original meaning. Do the confreres perform a folkloristic show or truly feel the religious meaning of Holy Week?
Ettore Grillo, author of these books:
– November 2: The Day of the Dead in Sicily
– A Hidden Sicilian History (English version)
– Una Storia Siciliana Nascosta (versione in lingua italiana)