Today is 30th November, St. Andrew’s Day.
The English-speaking world knows that Scotland celebrates this as the feast day of her own patron saint, the Apostle Saint Andrew, the first disciple of Jesus, to whom he introduced his brother Simon, destined to be called Peter by Christ and appointed by Him to be the Head of His Church, the first Pope.
Saint Andrew, like all the apostles, died a martyr.
Less well-known is the fact that St. Andrew is also celebrated in Amalfi.
The people of the town near Naples on the breath-taking coast that takes its name from it, Costiera Amalfitana, small but with a very long history, are on this occasion reunited with relatives and friends living elsewhere but coming to Amalfi for the celebrations.
Although the celebrations in honour of the Saint begin as early as 21st November, in Amalfi on the feast day of 30th November the silver statue of the Apostle Saint Andrew is taken out of the church named after him, the cathedral of Sant ‘Andrea, also known as Duomo di Amalfi.
On this day the Solemnity of St. Andrew the Apostle is celebrated starting at 5 am, with the announcement of the festivities while walking through the streets of the town to the sound of (wait for it…) bagpipes. Scotland and Amalfi must have something in common, after all.
After the Office of Readings in the Crypt, the Morning Lauds and the celebration of Holy Masses, at 8.30am, the statue of the patron saint is carried to the beach for the blessing of the sea.
After 30th November, the next appointment on the Amalfi Coast is on Saturday 7 December when the characteristic underwater procession is held at the Emerald Grotto in Amalfi. The ceremony will begin at 3pm with the religious ceremony. From 4pm there will be a diving procession with a tribute to the little baby laid in the first underwater nativity scene in Italy, for the first time made with the prestigious ceramics of Vietri.
Photo credit: AmalfiNotizie