Santa Barbara and the Navy, a bond that has endured over the centuries

(To Marina Militare)
04/12/21

Santa Barbara it is a religious festival, but not only. She is also the patroness of the Italian Navy. It is one of the most heartfelt moments within the armed force, in which a centennial tradition is celebrated. It is the day when we exchange good wishes and, on board the ships, the crews also swap roles in a funny way. A rite that descends from Saturnalia Romans, which fell just around 4 December.

A staple for the celebrations for the patron saint is the solemn mass which took place today in the basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano in Rome. 

"The day of Santa Barbara has always been experienced with particular emotion by the crews who huddle together on board ships and in shore destinations like a big family - said the chief of staff of the Navy, team admiral Enrico Credendino, during the celebration that this year was held on December 3 -  For me, who was embarked as a young gunner almost forty years ago on the cruiser Vittorio Veneto, the memory of the red roses placed in front of the effigy of Santa Barbara in each of the ammunition depots is always vivid ". It is precisely from the birth of gunpowder that Santa Barbara has been linked to the Navy. She is the patroness "of those who are in danger of sudden death" and then his image appeared on warships, along with ammunition depots.

Touching the homily of the military ordinary for Italy, Monsignor Santo Marcianò, who celebrated the mass which was also attended by the Hon. Gianluca Rizzo, president of the Defense Commission of the Chamber of Deputies, the Chief of Defense Staff, Admiral Giuseppe Cavo Dragone and other institutional and military positions.

“The strength of the Italian Navy is this - said Monsignor Marcianò - it is not a force that imposes itself with armaments, but that builds justice, peace, solidarity, fraternity, because it listens, because it defends, because it helps ".

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