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Malocchio & Jettatore


From Dominick A. Faust, 29 Dec 1995 (Reggio di Calabria & Siracusa):

I have a question about superstitions. I've watched the movie the "A Bronx Tale" several times. I have noticed that "C" the young character and "Sonny" the "Don" for lack of another descriptive word, exchanged a sign of friendship with a hand gesture. When I was young, my father had told me the same hand gesture was for wishing evil on someone. Or he called it "horns". !???!


From Margie Vaughan, 29 Dec 1995:

My Nana Pauline Russo use to say that hand sign (the one from Bronx Tale) was a sign to keep the evil eye away. She believed one of her babies died becuase of the evil eye. A women kept saying how beautiful her baby was.

When my Nana told her mother-in-law about the woman, my great grandmother told her not to walk that way any more. The woman still found my Nana & Michael and told her the baby was to beautiful to live. Until the day my Nana passed away she believed this was why her son got sick & died. We were always told never say a baby is beautiful, whenever you felt like saying this you should always say instead, God bless this baby.


From GRACE E DEASY (Sicily):

to all the piesani,best wishes for the new year,my great aunt used the oil and water to cure a headache and maybe a heartache too.i would likk up in that book about superstitions about the horns,we had a cow horn set over back door that were painted blue with rings of green around the ends!!to keep the evil spirit away.?anyone else have this decoration?


From Edna Rober, 31 Dec 1995:

Three years ago in Ferrazano (Campobasso), I was suffering from a migraine while Marie and I were researching old family records at the "city" hall. Needing lunch (or something) we went to the restaurant (the only). The young waiter recognized me as a sick puppy and was very solicitous. After I had ordered plain rice, he returned and asked me my name. Married? Maiden? No. First. I asked why. His grandmother was in the kitchen and wanted to help. She was going to write my name in oil drops in a pan on the stove.


About fifteen minutes later, I told my sister I really was feeling a lot better!!! I don't question anything - as long as it works. I met grandmother in the kitchen, chatted with the family and left feeling my normal self.

Thought your readers would like to hear a first-hand experience.


From EDWARD F MOMORELLA, 1 Jan 1996:

I remember a great aunt who would rush home when anyone would tell her she was pushing around a "beautiful baby" and pour holy water in a dish and put in drops of oil. If the oil spread out over the water, that was a bad sign and she had to say some prayers to rid the evil.

If the drops stayed relatively in the same place, things were ok. She would bless herself and be calm again.


From Albert Pasquino, 5 Jan 1996

How well I remember those festivals in Hammonton, NJ. As a boy growing up inthe 30's in Paulsboro, NJ going to the festival was an annual event. Most of all I remember the fireworks display at the end of the days celebration.

And oh yes, about the oil and water bit. Whenever we got a headache, the"Evil eye" was the cause, of course. Mom would get a soup bowl and oil.

Then she would dip her finger in the oil and make the sign of the cross continually on our forehead all the while saying some prayers in Italian, which I could not understand, even though I understood Italian in my youth. After the prayers she would dip her fingers in the oil and let drops fall into the water. As I remember, the shape the oil took in the surface of the water indicated whether the "Evil eye" had been removed. If it had the headache was gone! If not she would repeat the ritual a second time and it usually did the trick. Never had an aspiren until I enlisted the the Air Force in 1948 and any veteran knows the cure for everything was 2 APCs. Oh yes, in 1954 I was sent to Korea and my wife, who is British, stayed with my parents for that year. Not only did she become an accomplished Italian cook but attests to the fact that Mom's oil and water really worked on her too!


From Bob Collins, 20 Jan 1996:

The following is from HYGEIA, June, 1926, "The Immigrant Mother as Seen by a Social Worker" by Dorothy G. Spicer:

"There was Mrs. Vitelli's baby, who was so plump that a neighbor said, 'Oh, doesn't Tony look just like a cow?' Immediately...the baby grew black and frothed at the mouth. To see if he was 'overlooked,' or afflicted by the dreaded Evil Eye, a drop of oil was put into a glass of water. Instead of spreading over the surface of the water, the oil stayed in one place and looked just like an eye, thus proving the nature of the baby's ailment. A cure was wrought by bringing in a woman whosaid an incantation learned on Christmas eve. Anyone taught the incantation on the eve of Christ's birth haspower to cure 'overlooked; persons; consequently, old wives knowing the charmed words are still much sought after, even in this country." (P. 319).


From Arthur Urbano, 26 Apr 1996:

Whenever my grandfather tells his stories about his grandparents when they came over from Italy, we all sigh and say "Not that one again!" It's funny.

I am so thankful now that my grandfather repeated his stories over and over again, because I've committed tham to memory and they've helped me with my research. It's been fun trying to prove and disprove these legends. I'm surprised, most of the legends my grandfather tells are 90% true! My grandfather, Tony CUCCA, was born in Providence, RI. In fact so was his father! But both of his grandfathers, Stazio CUCCA from Ciorlano and Luigi PEZZA from Prata Sannita (both in Caserta), came to America in the 1890s.

There was one legend in particular which I love to hear, but my grandmother cringes whenever my grandfather is about to tell it. She always tries to change the subject.

My grandfather tells us that his grandmother Filomena SQUEZIA from Capriati a Volturno was a really mean lady. She never got along with my grandfather's mother Filomena PEZZA (her daughter-in-law). They used to argue all the time. FInally, when Filomena Pezza was pregnant with my grandfather, her mother-in-law told her that she hoped they would take the baby out with a pitchfork! In response my grandfather's mother said "I hope you never see him!" At this point my grandfather will pause, look at all of us with his finger pointed straight up and conclude, "She died a month before I was born! It's the truth!"

Well, I wasn't sure if it was the truth, so I went to the Rhode Island State Archives and looked up Filomena Squezia's death record. You know, she died Jan 15, 1911 and my grandfather was born Feb 8, 1911! It was true. A real live family curse and a legend proved to be true.

Now I'm trying to figure out how she died. The death record says she died of "Acute Cholecystitis" or something like that. Maybe some of you doctors out there can help me out.


From Tony La Bella:

My father has told me of many occasions that my nonna performed the ritual for a variety of reasons. That included curing a sickness, answering a particular question, or to remove a curse that someone might have placed on an individual in the family. While he doesn't remember the exact incantations, my grandmothe would place water in a bowl, and while making the sign of the cornu, drop oil into the water. If the oil combined it was a favorable sign, if they separated, it was not. She would repeat this a number of times until, I believe, until she was pleased with the outcome.

My father seemed to indicate that this skill was passed down from generation to generation. As a matter of fact, he said that my grandmother once told him that her "mentor" (her aunt) would not teach her certain spells and incantations because they were too terrible and dangerous.


From Jo Tedesco - 8 May 1996 (Reggio Calabria):

The other thing to add was that the 'power' had to be renewed yearly at Christmas time I think! Grandfather had mother taught as an insurance to make sure the oxen didn't get sick!


From Vincent Paratore - 8 May 1996 (Sicily):

My father was one of these that could perform the removal of curses or "evil eye". But as I recall, he would not pass on this ritual to me,when he the ritual was completed he would cut thru the water oil mixture with a knife making the sign of the cross. He was always reluctant to perform this ritual. It always took something out of him.


From Maria Seminara Commodore, 8 May 1996:

Tony and PIEsani, Many times this procedure was done on me when I lived in Sicily and even after we came to the USA. Mostly to get rid of a terrible headache (possibly caused by Malocchio?).

There was always a lot of jealousy among relatives anÝbody stared at you too long, it was taken as Malocchio and for whatever reason you ended up with a splitting head-ache!

Personally I believe the cooleness of the ceramic with cold water on your head always brought relief and of course a little of mind over matter might have helped.


From Arthur Urbano, 08 May 1996:

Tonight I asked my grandmother about the malocchio. She's 80 and was born in the USA, her mother, from Teano, used to perform it. Apparently my g-grandmother would perform this ritual to get rid of headaches. She would get a bowl of water and pour some oil into it. If the oil formed a large circle in the middle of the bowl, the ritual worked and the headache would go away; if not, well, it didn't work.

This seems similar to other rituals that people have been describing. It seems that paganism persisted in the old world.


From Tom Lazzara, 9 May 1996:

Subject: Sole a Testa/headache

Pie-sanos, Not sure if this comes under superstitions or home remedies bt it works. On hot summer days after playing outside all day I would sometimes have a headache in the evening. My mother would place a hankerchief over a glass of water and with my head in her lap would turn the glass over on my forehead. Done rapidly none of the water would spill. After about 30 seconds bubbles would start to rise up in the inverted glass. When there were no more bubbles she would remove the glass and the headache would soon be gone.

She said the headache was caused from "sole a testa" (sun in the head). I don't remember how old I was when I questioned the Authenticity, but being a dubting Thomas I did. I had her do it a second time and a 3rd time to see if it would produce bubbles again. It didn't. I figured it was just air bubbles from water that may have leaked out, so I had her do it when I didn't have a headache, No bubbles. But the next time I had a headache, guess what, there were bubbles. Try this on a hot day sometime, I think it works better then a cold wash cloth. It draws the heat out of your head. Maybe thats why I have never been known as a Hot Headed Italian, Hard Yes, Hot No. Given some the messages that have been burning up the keyboards

Maybe now would be a good time for all of us to try it.(myself included) Water use to be cheaper

"VIVA L'ULIVO" Gianfranco


From Nick.DiValerio, 9 May 1996:

My mother, born in Italy, always had this ritual performed on her when her headaches became unbearable. She explained that the headaches were so bad because someone had evil thoughts about you. Call it supersition, but it seemed to work more than it doesn't. However, the ritual can only be performed by certain people. It has to be taught by someone who practices.


From Nick - 25 Aug 1996:

My GM was born on Christmas day in 1882, and as such, was reputed to be able to cure the unfotunates who'd been given the Evil Eye by a "Jettatori". I recall adults & children coming to her home, where she would place cold water in a dish, then say something in Italian, which ended with the afflicted 's name. Next, she would let a few drops of olive oil run down her little finger, into the water. At this point, all gathered around the dish to se if the oil would disperse or conglutinate. She would then make the sign of the cross above the water with scissors, screwrdiver, & knife.


From Joe Tambe - 26 Aug 1996:

Mal Occhio is a subject I have some knowledge about from my Sicilian heritage. Mal Occhio literally means the "evil eye". Many people believe that with a strong, severe look, someone could put a curse on you. In this case, the curse caused sickness, (fever, headache, stomach ache, etc.).

When there was the belief that perhaps the illness was caused by "mal occhio", an aged woman (preferably a relative), was called in. The afflicted person was made to lie down or sit in a chair.

A large, shallow bowl was filled with water and held over the head of the afflicted. With the index finger, three drops of olive oil were dropped into the bowl of water. At the same time, she said and made the sign of the cross to bless the afflicted. If the olive oil drops remained in normal single drops, it was concluded that the sickness was not caused by "mal occhio". However, if the olive oil spread out over the water, sometimes even sputtering, then that was "proof" that mal occhio was the culprit. At that point, the woman shifted into a curative prayer: "Let the mal occhio get behind you and God bring you ahead". After several repetitions, the water was changed and the olive oil applied again. If the drops were normal, the curse was lifted and the person would get well in a short time. If the drops continued to diffuse, the prayers were repeated and the process repeated over and over sometimes with success, sometimes not.


From Maryann Ruperto - 27 Aug 1996 (Abruzzi):

Hi Nick, Last night when I read your posting about the evil eye to my mother, I asked her if she had ever heard of this. She looked at me very seriously and said not only had she heard of it, she had seen it done many times! Her sister, my aunt, used to do this. Not everyone can do this, only people with some "special" abilty. Anyway, my aunt used to pour the oil (as you indicated) into a dish, if the oil disappeared, it meant that someone had put the evil eye on you. She would then pray over this dish. This little ritual was also able to "break the spell". My mother said that she had seen it where the oil disappeared and there was no sign of it anywhere. You could put the dish away, it was clean. My mother did not know anything about scissors, screwdrivers, or knives.

This ritual is only supposed to be passed on to the persons godchild. I hope this sheds some light on the subject.


From Arleen Gould - 27 Aug 1996 (Calabria):

Just got off the phone with the mother-in-law and read her the letter about the 'Mal Occhio'. Her mother would use this on them as children when they had headaches, etc. but she asked if any one remembers the prayer that went along with it. She said that you could only pass it on to someone on Christmas Eve. (So let's a pretend it is Christmas Eve, I won't tell if you don't.) Also she said that a 'Red Ribbon' would protect you from the Mal Occhio. So make sure you have it on before you type the prayer.


From Bob Fanelli:

My father, whose grandparents were from Riccia, Campobasso, said that his grandmother used to cure the Malocchio for children in their family. She would take a saucer or bowl, put a little water in it, pour in some oil, then take sewing threads and lay them in the shape of a cross in the floating oil. Afterwards, she would take the thread cross and lay it on the stomach of the sick child.

He also remembers that it was the practice among the neighborhood boys, in Edge Hill, PA, if they wanted to give someone the Malocchio, to make the sign of the horns and jab it towards the person. At the same time they would make a mean face at the victim. But, he said, it was just kid's stuff and not taken seriously.


From Bob Fanelli:

Philadelphian Charles Godfrey Leland collected folk beliefs in Tuscany in the late 19th century. Here's what he had to say about the "oil on water" custom we've been discussing, as he learned it from a woman (a strega) in Florence.

"I am making an incantesimo with oil....

Take the flask with oil - a small one- make with it thrice the sign of the cross on the head and face, saying:

'In nome del cielo,

Delle stelle e della luna,

Mi levo questo malocchio (o altra cosa),

Per mia maggior fortuna!'

Then with the same bottle or vial, make three crosses with the right hand over the glass of water, exactly from side to side, also making the corna or jettatura with the forefinger and little finger of the left hand extended, and the middle and ring finger closed, or held by the thumb. And these extended fingers rest on the edge of the tumbler.

While doing this the strega repeats:

'Befania! Befania! Befania!

Chi mi ha dato il malocchio,

Me lo porte via!'

Then pour in, or let fall, very carefully , three drops of oil. If they combine at once, it is a good sign, or an affirmative to any question. If you wish to know whether you are to find what you seek, or meet a friend, or anything of the kind, all will go as you desire. But if the three drops remain apart it is a bad or negative sign.

Then to thoroughly explore all the chances, this ceremony is renewed three times. And every time throw the water and oil into the street, or a court. Should a man be the first to pass, all will yet go well. If a woman, the omens are still unfavorable. And then once more make the castagna or chestnut, the sign of the thumb between the fore and middle fingers, which is far more potent than the corna (even the Roman writers call it terrible); note that this also is on the edge of the glass, with the left hand, while with the right, the oil is dropped skillfully so as to make a cross of oil, repeating the Befania invocation three times as before.

And if, after all, the oracle is unpropitious, drop into the glass about a teaspoonful of salt, and repeat the formula of 'Befania'. Should the oil turn a whitish color, this is a sign that the Befania relents and that all may yet go well.

But if she be deaf to every spell... Then drop into the glass a hot coal....This mixes the oil and water despite of all the devils. And this done you go forth with the fierce, proud feeling that, though every omen is against you, you are to prevail by a strong will."

-from Charles Godfrey Leland, "Etruscan Magic & Occult Remedies", University Books, 1963, pp.311-312.

The author makes the point that, if at first you don't get the answer you want (or the result you want, in the case of the headache cures mentioned on PIE earlier), then you must persevere and bend the problem to your will. Catholic priests handled the important stuff - baptisms, communion, marriages, deaths - but the common people handled the simple, immediate problems you couldn't call a priest for. I mean, what do you think your parish priest would say if you asked him to come over and get rid of your kid's headache?


From Nick - 27 Aug 1996:

Certain individuals, usually having a physical mark-such as thick eyebrows or a scar, or belonging to an uncommon cultural or physical type, were regarded as Jettatore: that is, they are capable of giving the evil eye or another magic spell, both willingly and unwillingly. A person born on Christmas eve or day was thought to have the power to overcome that of the Jettatore (as was my grandmother, born Dec 25, 1882.)

Some of this info comes from "The Two Rosetos," (Roseto Valfortore in Foggia) by Carla Bianco U. of Indiana Press, 1971.


From Joe Tambe (my parents were born in Sicilia) - 28 Aug 1996:

Jettare is Sicilian for "Buttare" (Italian) which means to throw(out), or fling or cast(out). Jettatore (Buttatore) is one who throws(out) or casts(out). Throw out the dirty water, throw out the discards, etc. In this case , a person who casts out the evil spell. (As an aside, there is no "J" in Italian. In Sicilian, "J" is used in conjunction with a vowel-i or e to create a sound like "ye" as in "yet". So, "jettatore" in pronounced "yettatore" in Sicilian.)


Mal'occhio [the evil eye] Trailer

I am honoured to have participated in this awesome film.

Slated for release Summer 2010.




Miscellaneous Beliefs

Red Ribbon Around The Steering Wheel

From Denise Lovasco Denner - 7 Aug 1996:

I remember my grandmother was always worried about 'curses' and she always seemed so superstitious. One thing that stuck with me was the use of a red ribbon. Whenever a family member bought a new car they had to bring it to Grandma. She would tie a red ribbon around the steering wheel while saying some prayer or verse and then she would toss in a pinch of salt. I'm not sure of the significance of all this but she was convinced ( as were the rest of the family) that this would prevent serious accidents. Even though my grandma died when I was only 12, I have always kept a red ribbon around the steering wheel of my cars. I have added a St. Christopher medal to the ribbon (can't be too careful).

Healing with String & Abating Storms with Blessed Palm

From John Prave - 17 May 1996:

My grandmother used to perform a ritual cure that involved a lengthy piece of string. She would draw forth the string in segments, measuring each segment from the tip of her elbow to the tips of her fingers, and with each drawing forth of a segment of the string she would recite certain prayers. I believe that if the came out even, that is if the last segment corresponded to the distance from her elbow to her fingers, then it was an auspicious sign that the cure would work. This was a ritual that was passed on from mother to daughter and she would not reveal any of the prayers which she prayed or any of the other particulars. I know I don't recall exactly how it went, but my description here is fairly accurate.

Also, I recall on the occasion of a very severe thunder storm that my grandmother took some dried blessed palms that were in the house since the previous Palm Sunday. She set them afire and tossed them out into the storm. Within a very short time the storm abated.

Mustard Plaster and Those Candles

From John Castagna - 23 Sep 1996:

The smell from the mustard plaster is still clear in my mind. Since mustard plaster is still commonly used today, I guess that its benefit has been proven (?) for colds and such. What I never understood, however, were those lit candles that my mother used to put on my chest and then place a glass over them until the flame went out. There was supposedly some old world idea that the vacuum (formed by using up the oxygen under the glass) would suck the sickness out of your chest. I don't know how well they cured sickness, but hot wax dripping down my chest was never very high on my list of favorites.


From Rose Albrizio, 10/19/96:

Now that fall is here and Halloween is coming, can any of the PIE-sanis help me with these two seasonal requests.

1. A recipe for Ossi dei Morti - bone-shaped hard cookies with a meringue topping.

2. Can anyone complete the words to the following fragment of a pattycake rhyme, probably in dialect, which I vaguely remember my grandmother playing with me. It ended with taking the baby's hands and slapping her face.[No it wasn't child abuse - just taking her hands and touching her face stinging slap].

Mani, Mani Morti

Tutti s'en apporti

. . ......................

un' bella schiaffatone.

Rose Albrizio

Grass Cross & Ghosts

From Bob Russo, 8 Nov 1996 (Ripabottoni, Campobasso & Foggia):

...Most of what little I know came from my mother and grandmother. I do know the people there were very superstitious as evidenced by some of the things my grandmother used to do. . .like making a cross from two wide blades of grass and pinning it to the ground with a knife in the center. This was supposed to prevent being hit by lightning in an electrical storm. Also, they believed you could see the dead on All Souls Day if you peered through a pitchfork!

She was also convinced that she saw a ghost -- a woman who suddenly appearednext to her as she was walking home at dusk from working in the fields. The woman talked with her, then as they approached a cemetery, told her that she was leaving and not to look back. Now frightened, my grandmother began to run and as she looked over her shoulder she says she saw a form flying toward the cemetery.

Of course I don't believe a word of any of it, but just to be sure, I do sometimes resort to the grass cross although we seldom get electrical storms here in California! >grin<

"Mau Mau"Ghost

From Jo Tedesco:

I heard an interview yesterday with the leader of an acoustic (imagine!) band called Mau Mau from Torin. This band apparently sing in the Piedmontese dialect. What was interesting though was that the lead singer said that they called the band Mau Mau because apart from being the Kenyan? political/nationalist movement from the 60s it was also a word which in dialect meant someone who was dirty/poorly dressed etc. Also they were a very multicultural band.

In my dialect my parents would talk about the mau mau - but it meant something like a 'non-existent' ghost. For example - if the door were to suddenly slam shut and somebody said - what was that? the answer could be "era lu mau mau". Anyone else use this term?


My Reading With Annee Jawor

After reading an article about psychic mediums in the Toronto Star, I felt strongly compelled to contact Annee. Here's my experience:

Click to read more ...


Nonna Leone's Cuccidati

This recipe is outstanding! I would make these more often if I had the time. They take some time and planning but they are oh so worth it. This is a traditional Sicilian cookie recipe given to me by my beautiful and dear friend Buona. ~Rue

Click to read more ...


Novena a San Michele

There are situations that require more than a mal'occhio cure but not quite an exorcism by a priest. This is when the Novena to Saint Michael Archangel is appropriate. The following requires a (9 hour or 9 day) commitment and deep focus and concentration. Not for the feint of heart or new age dabblers. Done correctly and respectfully the following can effectively remove the most tenacious evil. ~Rue


Gloria al Padre, al Figlio e allo Spirito Santo, come era nel principio, ora e sempre nei secoli, nei secoli. Amen.


Credo in Dio Padre Onnipotente, creatore del cielo e della terra; e in Gesù Cristo, nostro Signore, il quale fu concepito di Spirito Santo, nacque da Maria Vergine, patì sotto Ponzio Pilato, fu crocefisso, morì e fu sepolto. Discese agli inferi, il terzo giorno è resuscitato secondo le Scritture. E’ salito al cielo, siede alla destra del Padre e di nuovo verrà nella gloria per giudicare i vivi e i morti. Credo nello Spirito Santo, la Santa chiesa Cattolica, la Comunione dei Santi, la remissione dei peccati, la resurrezione della carne, la vita eterna. Amen.

Ti domandiamo, o Arcangelo San Michele, insieme coi principe del primo Coro dei Serafini, che Tu voglia accendere il nostro cuore con le fiamme del santo amore e che per mezzo tuo, possiamo allontanare i lusinghieri inganni dei piaceri del mondo. 1 Padre nostro - 3 Ave Maria

San Michele Arcangelo, difendici nella lotta, sii il nostro aiuto contro la malvagità e le insidie del maligno. Salvaci dalla perdizione eterna.

Ti chiediamo umilmente, o principe della celeste Gerusalemme, insieme col capo dei Cherubini, di ricordarti di noi, specialmente quando saremo assaliti dalle suggestioni del nemico infernale. Col tuo aiuto, siamo, infatti, divenuti vincitori di Satana e offriamo noi stessi a Dio nostro Signore, come intero olocausto.
1 Padre nostro - 3 Ave Maria

San Michele Arcangelo, difendici nella lotta, sii il nostro aiuto contro la malvagità e le insidie del maligno. Salvaci dalla perdizione eterna.

Devotamente ti supplichiamo, o invincibile difensore del Paradiso, affinché insieme col principe del terzo Coro, cioè dei Troni, non permetti che spiriti infernali o infermità ci opprimano.
1 Padre nostro - 3 Ave Maria

San Michele Arcangelo, difendici nella lotta, sii il nostro aiuto contro la malvagità e le insidie del maligno. Salvaci dalla perdizione eterna.

Umilmente prostrati in terra, ti preghiamo, o nostro primo ministro della Corte dell’Empireo, insieme col principe dei quarto Coro, cioè delle Dominazioni, di difendere il Cristianesimo, in ogni sua necessità, ed in particolare il Sommo Pontefice, aumentandolo di felicità e grazia in questa vita e gloria nell'altra.
1 Padre nostro - 3 Ave Maria

San Michele Arcangelo, difendici nella lotta, sii il nostro aiuto contro la malvagità e le insidie del maligno. Salvaci dalla perdizione eterna.

Ti preghiamo, o santo arcangelo, che insieme coi principe del quinto Coro, cioè delle Virtù, tu voglia liberare noi, tuoi servi, dalle mani dei nostri nemici sì occulti, collie palesi; liberaci dai falsi testimoni, libera dalle discordie questa Nazione ed in particolare questa città da fame, odio e guerra, liberaci anche da folgori, tuoni, terremoti è tempeste, che il drago dell’inferno è solito provocare a nostro danno.
1 Padre nostro - 3 Ave Maria

San Michele Arcangelo, difendici nella lotta, sii il nostro aiuto contro la malvagità e le insidie del maligno. Salvaci dalla perdizione eterna.

Ti scongiuriamo, o conduttore delle angeliche squadre, e insieme col principe, che tiene il primo luogo fra le Potestà, le quali costituiscono il sesto Coro, di voler provvedere alle necessità di noi tuoi servi, di questa Nazione, ed in particolare di questa città, con il dare alla terra la fecondità desiderata e la pace e la concordia fra i governanti cristiani.

1 Padre nostro - 3 Ave Maria

San Michele Arcangelo, difendici nella lotta, sii il nostro aiuto contro la malvagità e le insidie del maligno. Salvaci dalla perdizione eterna.

Ti chiediamo, o principe degli angeli Michele, che insieme col capo dei Principati del settimo Coro, tu voglia liberare noi, tuoi servi, tutta questa Nazione ed in particolare questa città dalle infermità fisiche e, molto Più da quelle spirituali.

1 Padre nostro - 3 Ave Maria

San Michele Arcangelo, difendici nella lotta, sii il nostro aiuto contro la malvagità e le insidie del maligno. Salvaci dalla perdizione eterna.

Ti supplichiamo, o santo arcangelo, che insieme col principe degli arcangeli dell'ottavo Coro e con tutti i nove Cori, tu abbia cura di noi in questa vita presente e nell'ora della nostra morte. Assisti la nostra agonia affinché, quando staremo per esalare l'anima, rimanendo sotto la tua protezione, vincitori di Satana, giungiamo a godere la divina Bontà con Te, nel Santo Paradiso.
1 Padre nostro - 3 Ave Maria

San Michele Arcangelo, difendici nella lotta, sii il nostro aiuto contro la malvagità e le insidie del maligno. Salvaci dalla perdizione eterna.

Ti preghiamo finalmente, o glorioso principe e difensore della Chiesa militante e trionfante, che tu voglia, in compagnia del capo degli angeli del nono Coro, custodire sostenere i tuoi devoti. Assisti noi, i nostri familiari e tutti quelli che si sono raccomandati alle nostre preghiere, affinché con la tua protezione, vivendo in modo santo, possiamo godere Dio insieme con te per tutti i secoli dei secoli. Amen.
1 Padre nostro - 3 Ave Maria

San Michele Arcangelo, difendici nella lotta, sii il nostro aiuto contro la malvagità e le insidie del maligno. Salvaci dalla perdizione eterna.

1 Padre Nostro a San Michele
1 Padre Nostro a San Gabriele
1 Padre Nostro a San Raffaele
1 Padre Nostro all’Angelo Custode

Prega per noi Arcangelo San Michele Gesù Cristo Nostro Signore e saremo degni delle sue promesse.

Onnipotente ed Eterno Dio, che nella tua somma Bontà assegnasti in modo mirabile l'Arcangelo Michele come gloriosissimo principe della Chiesa per la salvezza degli uomini, concedi che, con il suo salvifico aiuto, meritiamo di essere efficacemente difesi di fronte a tutti i nemici in modo che, al momento della nostra morte, possiamo essere liberati dal peccato e presentarci alla tua eccelsa e beatissima Maestà. Per Cristo nostro Signore. Amen.

O grande Principe del cielo, difensore fedelissimo della Chiesa, San Michele Arcangelo, io, quantunque indegno di apparire dinanzi a te, confidando tuttavia nella tua speciale bontà, mi presento a te, accompagnato dal mio Angelo Custode e, in presenza di tutti gli Angeli del cielo che prendo a testimoni della mia devozione verso di te, ti scelgo oggi come mio protettore e particolare avvocato e mi propongo fermamente di onorarti quanto più potrò. Assistimi durante tutta la mia vita, affinché mai io offenda Dio né in opere né in parole né in pensieri. Difendimi contro tutte le tentazioni del demonio, specialmente riguardo la fede e la purezza, e nell'ora della morte infondi la pace alla mia anima e introducila nella Patria eterna. Amen.

San Michele Arcangelo, difendici nella lotta affinché non periamo nell'estremo giudizio.


Objects Used in Magical Practice

Dr. Mario Pazzaglini

        The following objects are some of those used in performing the various rituals related to the practice of Italian magic. They are mainly everyday objects with symbolic value which allows the practitioner to connect with his or her intended task. They can be used in various combinations for magical intention and for protection. There is no standard group of objects in a witch's toolbox, but there are some such as red string, oil and bowls that are usually found in such collections. Other objects not on the following list may be used as substitutes, and particular rituals might demand specific articles not on the list. Finally, the uses stated below are the most common ones; there are other uses for these objects.

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On Punishing the Saints by Arturo Vasquez

On Punishing the Saints

28 07 2008

Over a year ago now, I posted this anecdote,

A widow had only one child whom she tenderly loved. On hearing that this son had been taken [in war] by the enemy, chained and put in prison, she burst into tears, and addressing herself to the Virgin, to whom she was especially devoted, she asked with obstinacy for the release of her son; but when she saw at last that her prayers remained unanswered, she went to the church where there was a sculptured image of Mary, and there, before the image, she said: “Holy Virgin, I have begged you to deliver my son, and you have not been willing to help an unhappy mother! I’ve implored your patronage for my son, and you have refused it! Very good! Just as my son has been taken away from me, so I am going to take away yours, and keep him as a hostage!” Saying this, she approached, took the statue of the child on the Virgin’s breast, carried it home, wrapped it in a spotless linen, and locked it up in a box, happy to have such a hostage for her son’s return. Now, the following night, the Virgin appeared to the young man, opened the prison doors, and said: “Tell your mother, my child, to return me my son now that I have returned hers!” The young man came back home to his mother and told her of his miraculous deliverance; and she, overjoyed, hastened to go with the little Jesus to the Virgin saying to her: “I thank you, heavenly lady, for restoring to me my child, and in return I restore yours.”

-cited by Paul J. Vanderwood in Juan Soldado: Rapist, Murderer, Martyr, Saint

One of the earliest posts I ever wrote told a story similar to this one, and it concerned my family’s devotion to a small image of the the Holy Face, and you can read it again here.

Recently, I encountered two other such anecdotes. The first is from Gumbo Ya-Ya: Folk Tales of Louisiana:

Statues of St. Joseph holding the Christ Child have long been popular for private altars in the homes of New Orleans Creoles; and many New Orleanians carry miniature representations of the saint in small capsules in their pockets or pocket-books. If a favor is asked of St. Joseph and not granted, the figure is sometimes stood on its head as punishment until the wish is fufilled.

St. Joseph is not the only saint who gets punished. In John Ingham’s book, Mary, Michael, Lucifer: Folk Catholicism in Central Mexico, on Saint Anthony’s feast day,

…people take their animals to the church, where the priest sprinkles them with holy water and pronounces a benediction to protect them from harm. Tiny metal figures of animals are pinned to pictures of St. Anthony on family altars. When an animal is lost, villagers put his picture in a box and tie a string around it. When the animal is found, its recovery is considered a “miracle”, and the incarcerated saint is released and rewarded with the miniature image of the animal he has found.

I am tempted to give some form of comment, but I am not going to. Needless to say, this is what I think real religion looks like. He who has ears to hear…




Orange Almond Biscotti

This my recipe and it makes beautiful, dense, biscotti that withstand the hottest espresso.

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Patron saints

In the Italian context, a patron saint is one that firstly man has inherited or adopted either through family, an occupation/trade/profession, or a geographical location, and then over time the saint has proven through their track record of intercession on man's behalf that they are indeed connecting. Only once the saint has proven themselves to be more than a 'one hit wonder' do Italians bestow upon them the honour of 'patrone'.


peace in the family

It's that time of year again. You're looking forward to celebrating a special occasion, together, as a family, BUT... 'mannagia' your family is absolutely impossible! Whenever you get together there's always some kind of friction that starts a fight. I know all about this: here's my spell. Hope it helps!

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per aver buone notizie

1. All’Arcangelo Raffaele.

O Angilu Raffaeli

Comu ti chiamu, prestu veni;

Iu ti chiamu ora ora.

Portimilla ’na bona nova.

Angilu Raffaeli miraculusu,

Lu mè cori è cunfusu,

Siti vistutu di rosi e di ciuri

Priatilu vui a nostru Signori. <i>(Giarre)</i>.

(O angelo Raffaele, – vieni appena io ti chiamo: – io ti chiamo subito, – Portamela una buona nuova - Angelo Raffaele miracoloso, - ho il cuore confuso, - siete vestito di rose e di fiori, - pregatelo Voi a Nostro Signore. )

Si noti il tu invece del voi, che il popolo suol dare ai santi.

2. Alle anime dei corpi decollati.

Terra supra terra,

Morti ’n capu terra,

Sangu a stizziari

Cani a ’bbajari,

Leccu sintiri,

Campani sunari,

A mia sta grazia m’aviti a’ ccurdari. <i>(Carini)</i> .

Versione: Terra sopra terra, – morti (= cadaveri) sulla terra, – sangue che stilla, – cane che abbaia, – eco che si sente, – campane che suonano: – voi dovete concedermi questa grazia.

Come si è detto nel sopra citato scritto intorno alle Anime dei corpi decollati, il latrato d’un cane, una parola che si senta echeggiare in istrada, una campana che suoni nel momento che si prega queste anime, sono indizî o segni responsivi delle anime medesime.

3. A Sant’Elena.

Santa Lena ’mmenzu lu mari stava,

Non si pirdia e mancu si scantava,

Mi l’âti a fari pi vostru frati Gilormu:

Sta virità mi l’âti a fari vèniri ’n sonnu:

Chiesa parata.

Tavula cunsata

E vigna carricata.

Ciumi currenti,

Spini pungenti

E gridu d’agenti.

Seguono tre paternostri, tre avemmarie e tre gloriapatri.

La preghiera si recita la sera e quindi si va a letto. Se nel sogno si vede una delle prime tre cose, è segno che riuscirà quello che si voleva conoscere; andrà tutto a rovescio se si vedrà una delle ultime tre. (Barcellona).


per avere notizie di persone lontane

1. Il Giudice giusto.

S’impara la notte di Natale e si recita per sapere notizie di cari lontani, per ottenere loro dal cielo buon viaggio, sicurezza personale e preservazione da tradimenti, calunnie e rigori indebiti di Giustizia.

Santissimu Gesù, judici giustu.

Supremu re, binignu Salvaturi,

Pri la vostra buntà e lu vostru gustu,

Scinnisti ’n terra pri li piccaturi,

Vi preu pirchì siti santu e giustu,

Pri vostra misiricordia, Signuri,

Comu fonti di grazia o di climenza

Scanzati a Turi di spati e sintenza.

O Virgini Maria di l’Udienza,

Gran Matri di Gesù, judici giustu,

Vui suppurtastu cu tanta pacenza

La pena di lu duci Figghiu vostru.

Io vi preu chi sia a l’ubbidienza

Stu figghiu miu a lu cumannu vostru,

Comu v’arriccumannu a san Giuvanni,

Libbrâti a Turi di peni e d’affanni.

Virgini gluriusa senza fini

Rigina di li celi ’Mperatrici,

Chi sedi supra li cosi divini,

Supra li santi cori auti e filici,

Scanzati a Turi di spati e lancini

Di notti e ghiornu, d’amici e nnimici:

– Ti preu, caru figghiu, nun mancari.

Scanzàtilu, Gesù, di terra e mari!

Binignu re, santissimu Gesù,

Comu a Giacobbi jistu a libbirari

E comu puru lu njuru Saù (?),

Accussì a Turi aviti a’ccumpagnari.

Mentri ch’è vivu, ’un haja mali cchiù

D’armi diu focu, di scanti e magari

Vi preu pri lu vostru amuri granni

Libbratimillu di peni e d’affanni.

Virgini gluriusa, senza fini

Chi sedi supra cosi auti e filici,

Scanzami a Turi di spati e lancini

Di notti e ghiornu, di amici e nnimici,

Di mali frami, di tinti catini,

Di mali ’nformi e fàusi tistimoni,

D’eretici e di tanti prutistanti

La grazia di Diu cilistrianti. (Trapani).

2. A S. Antonio.

Per aver notizia di persona lontana, o sapere se si riceverà sua lettera, o se arriverà essa medesima:

Sant’Antonu, re potenti,

’N manu tiniti focu ardenti;

Jiti unni N. N.,

Ci abbruciati lu cori e la menti:

Nun putissi nè cuitari, nè abbintari,

Ssa fantasia di ’n testa ci aviti a livari;

S’è a l’addritta, un friscu d’oricchi;

S’è assittatu, ’na trantuliata.

– Chi tu? Chi t’abbinni?

Pàrtiti e venitinni.

Versione: S. Antonio, re potente, – che tenete in mano fuoco ardente; – andate da N. N.; – bruciategli il cuore e la mente (affinchè) non possa quietarsi nè calmarsi. – Toglietegli dal capo codesta fantasia; – se egli è in piedi, (mandategli) un fischio d’orecchi; se è seduto, uno scotimento. – Che è stato? che ti accadde? – Parti e vientene (da me).

Questa orazione si recita tre volte, ed in ognuna un paternostro. È inutile il dire che il fuoco che si mette in mano a s. Antonio rappresenta le sollecitudini, le quali si vuole che il santo susciti nell’animo della persona assente per istimolarla a tornare. (Mazzara).

3. A San Giorgio.


San Giorgiu cavaleri,

Vui a cavaddu e eu a peri;

Vui ch’andasti a lu livanti,

Chi vinisti a lu punenti,

Sta grazia m’âti a fari

Tempu un nenti.

Versione: S. Giorgio cavaliere, – voi (andate) a cavallo ed io a piedi; – voi che andaste a levante, – che veniste a ponente, – (che viaggiaste pel mondo), – dovete farmi questa grazia in un istante.

Si dice ciò che si desidera e poi si recitano tre paternostri, tre avemarie e tre gloriapatri.

Se la notte si sogna una persona a cavallo, ogni cosa andrà bene; se a piedi, bisogna deporre ogni speranza (Barcellona).


San Giorgiu cavaleri,

Jia a cavaddu e jia a l’appedi,

Pi la vostra santità,

Facitimi sapiri la virità.

Se dopo recitata questa orazione s’ode ancora la campana di qualche chiesa o dell’orologio pubblico, segno che tra breve la notizia giungerà. (Mazzara).


San Giorgiu cavaleri,

Viniti a cavaddu e nun viniti a peri;

Pi la vostra caritati

Viniti prestu e non tardati. (Giarre).

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