The photos and the texts of each place or parish or association dedicated to Saint Leonard are edited by their representatives
who have accepted to appear in these documents
The Confraternity of San Leonardo Abate was born in Mascali in Sicily, Italy, in 2001 to promote the cult of devotion to Saint Leonard, to preserve the traditions associated with this and to organise the solemn celebrations in honour of the saint.
The cult of Saint Leonard arrived in Sicily during the second half of the 16th century. A ship with some relics of St.Leonard on board was sailing to the orient and was forced to land on the east coast of Sicily near the town of Mascali at the foot of the volcano, Mount Etna.
Today, conserved in the church of the town, which was rebuilt after the eruption of 1928 are:
-the statue of Saint Leonard sculpted in 1804, in which the saint holds a chain and manacles (the typical iconography of the patron saint of prisoners)
-a reliquary casket in the shape of an arm, in finely sculpted silver, made in the 16th century.
-a silver medal on which the saint is represented.
-the key to the chapel of St.Leonard in which succour was brought to women who were having a difficult labour.
The feast of the saint is celebrated every year on 6th November which is the date of the birth of Saint Leonard. During that day the statue is exposed for the veneration of the faithful and carried in procession through the streets of the town, accompanied by a brass band, the songs of the choir and a fireworks display. Preceding these celebrations there is a fair with cattle and demonstrations of local artisanal activities, which is an important traditional moment.
In addition to the feast of the 6th November there is, on the 5th February, a day of thanksgiving to Saint Leonard for saving the inhabitants miraculously during an eruption of Mount Etna in 1693, which destroyed all the towns on the east coast of Sicily including Mascali.
The statue of St.Leonard in procession during the eruption of Etna in 1928.
The procession on the feast of 6th November.
M TThe medal with St.Leonard (1742) engraved in silver, the reliquary arm (mid. 17th century) in engraved silver, the key to St.Leonard’s chapel (17th century) in engraved silver, all of which are conserved in the church of Mascali.
The statue of St.Leonard