This is my thirteenth year attending a Catholic school, so in my life I’ve heard a lot about patron saints. My mom’s side is also mostly 100% Italian (75% Italian, 25% Croatian, but we basically only acknowledge the Italian part). When I stumbled upon the fact that Italy has the most patron saints in the world, I was actually a little surprised. I did however know that Italy celebrates a lot of days dedicated to saints. For example, the Feast of Saint Mark is April 25 (local holiday) and Saint Stephen’s Day is December 26 (national holiday). Saint Francis and Saint Catherine of Siena are the patron saints of Italy. The Feast of St. Agatha is an important 3 day long holiday that is celebrated in Catania, Sicily. It is celebrated in other parts of Italy, but the celebration in Catania is by far the largest and most elaborate. It is said to be the second largest religious celebration in the world. I was very intrigued by this holiday because of how serious they make it and during their rituals during the three days, the celebrators become one huge family. This especially makes whole holiday seem very beautiful. Things like this really enforce how important religion, culture, and community are to the country, which makes it different than any other.
My grandmother, Angela Quaranto