A DEVOTIONAL SICILIAN CAKE: I CUDDUREDDI

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

http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo

THE SANCTUARY OF THE HOLY CRUCIFIX OF PAPARDURA IN ENNA (SICILY)

For a place to have the title of “Sanctuary”, it must be surrounded by an air of legend about the discovery of a sacred object or a miracle that happened there, and of course it is necessary that people feel the sacredness of the place and make pilgrimages.

The Sanctuary of Papardura, deserves this title.

It is said that towards the middle of the seventeenth century some peasants who lived in the fields around Enna saw a light on the top of the Papardura cave at night. They set out for the cave but when they arrived, the light disappeared.

It is also said that in the year 1659, a Franciscan nun had the vision of Jesus crucified who asked her to have the cave of Papardura cleaned because there was his effigy inside. The cave was cleaned up and the image found. Then, a church was built in front of the cave.

Miracles took place there, as evidenced by the items that pilgrims left in thanksgiving for the graces they had received.

On 12 September, the day of the feast of the Crucifix of Papardura, the administrators of the sanctuary distribute special sweets, called “Cuddureddi”, to the visitors. They date back to the time of the Goddess Demeter. The only difference is that the “Cuddureddi” are no longer garnished with poppy seeds, a flower that was sacred to Demeter. After all, the religious spirit remains unchanged, from the pagan era to the present day!

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

http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo