Saint Andrew’s Feast in Pescara, Abruzzo
This morning I took part in a very interesting festival dedicated to Sant’Andrea Apostolo, padron saint of fishermen of Abruzzo. At 9 o’clock, a solemn mass took place in the church of Saint Andrew the Apostle. This church, inaugurated in 1963, has a rather modern and unusual look. It has a rare two-tier steepled structure with narrow diamond-shaped windows. A wide door is made of solid glass, so when I arrived, I could see that the mass had already begun.
There was very light inside the church since the diamond-shaped windows were made of stained glass. Three of them depicted scenes from St. Andrew’s life. The altar part is the most surprising of all. The low wall is faced with a monochrome golden mosaic. In the background above the partition, there are situated three frescos presentting main episodes of St. Andrew’s life. The Archbishop of Pescara-Penne participated in the service. I was amused, how graciously the parishioners sang the hymns.
At 10 o’clock, the beautiful ancient statue of Saint Andrew was carried out of the church. In the street, a brass band joined the procession. Though the morning was already hot (+35 in the shadow), surprisingly many people followed the cortège headed by the Archbishop. Still more people joined the procession on the way, and many people greeted Saint Andrew from balconies and windows, which were decorated with big embroidered cloths. The procession stopped several times and the priests delivered short sermons and blessed spectators. Finally, we reached the magnificent Sea Bridge and stopped near the high obelisk “Stella Maris”, crowned with statue of the Madonna. The beautiful ceremony was concluded near the Trabocchi area, where are exposed old fishermen’s huts on piles. Three big wreathes were put in a boat which took them to the open sea in order to celebrate the memory of all those fishermen who were lost in the sea. Several tourist motor boats accompanied the boat with the wreathes.
Since 1867, Saint Andrew’s Feast has been celebrated during three days at the end of July . Formerly, the procession continued on the open sea. The “admiral” boat which hosted the statue of Saint Andrew led a small fleet of fishermen boats which took on board all persons who wanted to watch the launching of garlands. This year, the itinerary was shorter, maybe, because of the economic crisis.
More about the Feast of Saint Andrew the Apostle