Santa Rosalia was born in Palermo in the XII century. Around the age of fourteen, his father, Count Sinibaldo, promises her in marriage to a prince. Santa Rosalia refused to marry and fled into a cave amidst the woods of Santo Stefano di Quisquinia, a place where nobody could find her. Obviously, near the cave there was a church or a convent where she received help and support. She lived in the cave for twelve years, and then she returned to Palermo to spend the rest of her short life in another cave in Monte Pellegrino.

The former cave of Santa Rosalia is quite long and narrow. Yesterday, I walked almost to the end of it. I felt that it was charged with spirituality.

Visiting the hermitage, I saw the cells of the friars. They were all oriented to Palermo, the city of Santa Rosalia.

In front of one of the cells was the photo and the ID of one of the last monks that lived in the hermitage.

A holy book stood out on a table of the dining room. Somebody told me that while the monks were eating, another monk stood and read aloud. Of course, he had eaten in advance.

On the ground floor was the room where the monks placed the dead. They eviscerated the corpse and, after six months, they moved it into a glass cabinet. The novices that wanted to become monks had to stay in the skeleton room for one week, drinking just water.  It was a good way to meditate, indeed! Don’t you think the rules of the world would benefit from meditating in such a room for one week?

Ettore Grillo, author of these books:

– November 2: The Day of the Dead in Sicily (English edition)

– A Hidden Sicilian History (English edition)

– The Vibrations of Words (English edition)

– Travels of the Mind (English edition)

– Una Storia Siciliana Nascosta (edizione italiana)

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