The Feast of the Blessed Giovanna and the Historical Procession

A Signa Giovanna, virgin and hermit lived between the end of the '200 and early '300, is still simply and familiarly referred to as "the Blessed", and celebration "of the Blessed" is one of the most important religious dell ' year. The oldest biography of Blessed is dated between 1383 and 1396, the Beatae Johannae et miracula. The manuscript is rather stingy with news, and after a brief introduction on the place of birth of the Blessed near the Castle of Signa, immediately introduces the first miracle occurred when Joan still little girl tending the sheep and oxen, and in the middle of a sudden storm rain, about Joan and shepherds gathered around her, not even a drop of water fell. Immediately after this incident the writer tells how Joan fourteenth century, still young, he chose the life of a hermit in a hermitage closing. In this place of seclusion, identified with the place where the first then a small oratory called "the Beatino," Joan lived several years working miraculous cures to the devotees who came to her. Prodigious events also occurred after his death for the benefit of those who implored thanks before his tomb. Most likely the life of the Blessed and the birth of his worship are closely linked to repeated waves of plague that afflicted the fourteenth century, just remember to confirm this hypothesis that the festivities in honor of the Blessed began as early as 1383. During these celebrations, Easter Monday, and is still commemorated in which we commemorate the year of the first translation or rather elevation of his relics, a large procession of pilgrims, devotees and religious recalls with a procession composed of about 400 participants, the annual procession in honor of the Blessed. To promote the event is the Worshipful Company of the Blessed Sacrament and the Holy Spirit and the Historical Procession of Signa. It takes place following an ancient tradition: the protagonists of the procession are the four peoples that had divided Signa in the Middle Ages - Santa Maria in Castello, San Miniato, St. John and St. Lawrence - and at the end of the parade they receive the blessing from the parish priest of Signa, in the name of the Blessed. In the past, all the churches, or neighboring parishes participated in the ceremony by sending each their own "little angels" on a donkey - that very young children - bearing in his hand a sparrow, which was then released in the Parish of St. John, thus fulfilling a function prediction for the year. The presence of the angel and the sparrows recalls two miracles attributed to Blessed, that of the resurrection of a child and the healing of a sparrow.

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