The island of Procida has always been a place that has fascinated men of culture, artists of all kinds, free thinkers, philosophers and scholars. Here they lived and were fascinated by people like Elsa Morante, Cesare Brandi and Toti Scialoja.
Morante here set his most famous novel “Arturo’s Island”, and called it one of the most beautiful places he had ever visited. In recent years it has placed even more in the spotlight thanks to the wide international audience conquered becoming natural set of such films as “The Postman” and “The Talented Mr. Ripley”, just to name a few.
But now we see what happens during Holy Week in the island. On Holy Thursday we have the traditional rite of the washing of the feet while Friday is the turn of the evocative Procession of the Apostles hooded. The protagonists of both events are the men of the Arch of the Whites. So you start with the washing of the feet of twelve arciconfratelli, that after wearing the traditional dress (called “capacity”) through the streets of the country hooded, with a crown of thorns on his head and also bringing a cross. Before the procession, however, twelve apostles hooded, the former Church of St. James (formerly the seat of the Arch) perform the ritual of the Last Supper with a table spread with unleavened bread, lamb and wine. During the Upper Room the spiritual father blesses the bread, which is then distributed to all the faithful present.
In the night between Thursday and Good Friday begins the vigil at the statue of the dead Christ, works in wood carved and painted made in 1728 by Carmine Lantriceni a prisoner of the old prison of Procida. This work is preserved throughout the year instead, in the church of St. Thomas Aquinas headquarters of the Congregation of Turchini. In the days preceding the vigil women of the island, according to an ancient ritual, prepare the statue of Christ using the characteristic scented oils. (to be continue – second part)