Italian Easter traditions: “La Madonna che scappa”

The event of the “Madonna che scappa in piazza” (The Madonna running in the square) takes place on the morning of Easter Sunday and it commemorates the Resurrection of Christ, through a unique religious-folkloristic function. Piazza Garibaldi in Sulmona is very crowded and below the arches of the aqueduct there is the statue of the Resurrected Christ. On the opposite side there is Church of St. Philip from which the mourning Madonna will come out, upon request of the disciples of Jesus, St. Peter and St. John, who brought to her the good news of the Resurrection of Christ. The two Saints go knocking, but the Madonna will believe only to St. John the third time, the doors of the church open and She comes out.
It is a complex ritual, and as the Madonna has come halfway the Square, the Mother of Jesus looks at the horizon and recognizes her Resurrected Son waiting for her. At this moment the Madonna starts running. Her black cape falls down and she wears only her green dress, the colour of spring, while some doves fly in the sky.


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