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John Palcewski's Journal

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Santa Lucia

I’m not an expert on Christian iconography, but I recognized this one—of Santa Lucia de Syracuse. The picture directly above is in the Soccorso chapel, and below is an image I made in the Convento S. Antonio, on the other side of the island, near Ischia Ponte.

The feast of Santa Lucia, December 13, commemorates the life of a young Christian woman of first century Rome. Her father died when she was young, and her mother, Eutychia, arranged a marriage for her with Paschasius, a pagan. Lucia resisted him for three years and, furious, her rejected suitor denounced her to the governor of Sicily. She was found guilty and was sentenced to forced prostitution. She resisted arrest, so the governor ordered that her eyes be torn out and that she be burned at the stake. The governor’s soldiers succeeded in blinding her, but could not get the fire started. Finally she was stabbed to death with a dagger.

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St. Anthony's altar.

Hi, John. I’m here to give you some notices about your photos.

Photo #1
St. Anthony’s altar.

You can recognize the statue of St. Anthony where, one time, I suppose in the 16th century, there was a St. Anthony’s picture. In fact we suppose it was a triptych. Today we have only the left and right side of this triptych, in the middle, where the 3th picture placed, we have now a statue dated 19th century.
The left triptych’s part represents:
1) St. Catherine of Alexandria (Egypt), the first patron saint of Forio, before the veneration of St. Vito (if you go to St. Vito’s Church, the principal church and oldest parish church of Forio, the principal painting represents St. Vito and St. Catherine together. You can recognize St. Catherine of Alexandria by the instrument of torture, a big wheel, she was broken on the wheel and then she was beheaded. When you enter, on the left side of the St. Vito’s church, you can admire a big old picture representing the St. Catherine’s martyrdom).
2) Life’s moments of St. Anthony: St. Anthony preaches to the fishes. The history of St. Anthony tells one day the monk was preaching and nobody was paying attention. He decided to preach to the fishes and they came to listen.
3) Moments from New Testament: The visit of Maria at the Elisabeth’s home.

The right triptych’s part represents:
1) St. Lucia, as you recognized, (To the St. Lucia’s veneration in Forio is tied up a miracle, it was represented in a picture in St. Lucia’s church in Monterone – Forio).
2) Life’s moments of St. Anthony: St. Anthony shows the Eucharist to a mule and the mule knelt down.
3) Moments from New Testament: Nativity of Jesus Christ.

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