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Event

Campania

Saint Cono yearly celebration

Teggiano glows to honour its patron saint

07 December 2022

On the 3rd of June, a big celebration is held in Teggiano: the streets are adorned with beautiful lights that draw arches suspended above the ground. Their harmonious shapes, combined with bright colours, seem to unite the earth and the sky to commemorate the town's patron saint: San Cono.

who was san cono?

Reports speak of a child born here, when the village was still called Diano, at the end of the 12th century. According to reports, despite his tender age, the child was very fond of meditation and, above all, of penitence. One day he ran away from home towards the Benedictine monastery of Santa Maria Cadossa, in Montesano sulla Marcellana. So great was his desire to stay at the monastery that, when his parents finally found him, the little boy hid in a lit oven! And this was the first miracle of the future San Cono: he came out from the oven completely unharmed. Not much more is known about his life, especially since he died very young, at the beginning of the 13th century.

The connection with Teggiano

Teggiano is not only San Cono's birthplace, but also the centre of the cult dedicated to him (which is now widespread in Latin America) and the place where his remains rest. Initially, his remains were kept in the Monastery of Cadossa, but when it was abandoned in 1261, they were transferred to Teggiano, precisely on the 3rd of June. Chosen as the village's patron saint, he was repeatedly invoked to protect the residents from the most tragic events in history, and sometimes the saint responded promptly. It is told of a monk who, in 1497, managed to repel the bullets of the Spanish armies that were besieging the village. According to tradition, San Cono also protected the town from the plague in the 17th century and an earthquake in the 19th century.

Precisely on the occasion of the earthquake in 1857, San Cono seems to have appeared in the village main square. In order to thank him, the townspeople decided to build an obelisk at the top of which, 20 metres above the ground, still stands a bronze statue of San Cono, which to this day watches over his native village.

The statues of San Cono and the procession

From the ground it is not possible to appreciate the details of the bronze statue. But fortunately, in 2022, a careful renovation took care of its stability and restored its beauty. Through the words of those who worked on the project, we are reminded of the meticulousness of the details that characterise this work, a symbol of the love and care that the artist poured into the statue. Those who have the opportunity to admire it can even see the weave of the saint's clothes, and the decorations on the cross he holds in his hand.

But this is not the only statue of San Cono preserved in the village: there is another one, in painted and gilded wood, made in 1714 and kept in the Cathedral of Santa Maria Maggiore. That statue is the protagonist of the yearly commemoration. On the 3rd of June, in fact, the statue leaves the church and is carried in procession through the streets of Teggiano, acclaimed by its people.

Credit to: Velvet

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