The Life and Adventures of Santa Rosalia, Patron Saint of Palermo

Today I prayed for us all…

The Dangerously Truthful Diary of a Sicilian Housewife

I described, in my previous post, the sanctuary of Saint Rosalia, which is a baroque church facade with a drippy cave behind it. Now I’ll tell you about her amazing life.

Santa Rosalia painted by Van Dyck in Palermo, whilst the artist was desperately hoping NOT to catch the plague Santa Rosalia painted by Van Dyck in Palermo, whilst the artist was desperately hoping NOT to catch the plague

Santa Rosalia was born in about 1130, when Sicily was ruled by the Normans. The king was Roger the Second. I’ve been inside his bedroom, by the way, in the Palazzo Dei Normanni in central Palermo. It is entirely lined with mosics of tigers, mountain lions, deer and the other animals he loved to hunt on Monte Pellegrino, all of them depicted in exquisitely colourful detail against a background of solid gold chunks.

King Roger's bedroom. I've been in here but Santa Rosalia never entered. King Roger’s bedroom. I’ve been in here but Santa Rosalia never entered. He was a Norman King, but notice how Islamic the floor looks.

Before Roger…

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About Lukie Gooda

Travelling Europe
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