Celestine Forgiveness

Celestine Forgiveness

The solemn 'Forgiveness Ceremony' that happens every year in the capital of Abruzzo

Every year in L’Aquila, the beautiful, historical city of Abruzzo, the historic Rite of Forgiveness is renewed during the weekend of 28 and 29 August. This religious celebration is historically linked to the figure of Celestine V, who immediately after his coronation as pope granted a plenary indulgence to all the faithful who had confessed, from the vespers on August 28th to the vespers on the 29th, and who had devotedly visited the basilica of Collemaggio.

Initially it just concerned the richest brackets of the population who, in exchange for substantial contributions to the Church, received a partial remission of their sins. However, in L'Aquila, the indulgence was also granted annually to the poor and underprivileged; a novelty that was quite significant in those years and which, in addition to a strong spiritual significance, also acquired considerable political importance. The first solemn celebration is to be traced back to 1225,even though it was against the will of Boniface VIII, then Pope in office.

Still today, on the two days of August, this ceremony is repeated with the suggestive 'Bull Court' that parades through the beautiful streets of the town to solemnly accompany the Celestine Bull of Indulgence, moving from the Magistrate’s Palace to the Basilica of Santa Maria di Collemaggio. A real historical commemoration where the civil and religious authorities are accompanied by knights and ladies in period costume.

The Bull of Forgiveness remains on display for a whole day in the church then, on the evening of August 29th, after the Holy Door is closed, it is taken back to the Town Hall, accompanied by a further procession.

A really charming religious event with very ancient roots, which is still revived and warmly welcomed by the people of L'Aquila, believers and secular alike, and many visitors to the town, and therefore of great social value as well.

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