Feast of St Nicholas, patron saint of Bari

St Nicholas’ Day for the people of Bari: a journey through the history and tradition of Bari’s patron saint
The city of Bari has been linked since time immemorial to the cult of St Nicholas, considered one of the most powerful intercessors with God. The devotion of the people of Bari to the Saint of Myra knows no bounds, extending to every social level and to every citizen, whether a believer or not.

From 7 to 9 May, the Festival in honour of the Saint
Religiousness throughout Apulia is inseparable from the very concept of Apulian life, and rituals and devotion are closely linked to daily life, conditioning it in various ways, both in the timing of events and in the combination of food and wine. The city of Bari has been linked since time immemorial to the cults of St Nicholas, considered one of the most powerful intercessors with God. The devotion of the people of Bari to the Saint of Myra knows no bounds, extending to every social level and to every citizen, whether a believer or not.

SAINT NICHOLAS FOR THE PEOPLE OF BARESI
St Nicholas is not just a saint in the classic sense of the term, but a festival par excellence, a riot of colours, fairground rides, typical and traditional food to be prepared and enjoyed strictly on those days. Starting from the feast of 6 December, the liturgical solemnity in the Basilica, to that of 9 May, which commemorates the translation of the relics from Myra to Bari, those of 19 December and 22 May, according to the Julian calendar, represent moments of faith and popular piety that involve numerous pilgrims from all over Apulia and southern Italy, as well as many Russian Orthodox.

6 December, liturgical solemnity
The liturgical feast of 6 December in honour of the saint is an expression of the saint’s fascination for pilgrims and believers. An incredible history, popularity due to miracles and charity. Clear symbols that call many believers to pray for his mercy. For this reason, the festival is not only a historical tradition handed down from generation to generation, but also a time to revive the experience of faith, to strengthen the bonds of communion that bind Christians to the Saint’s testimony.

From 7 to 9 May, the Festival in honour of the Saint
The Festival, which takes place from 7 to 9 May, sees solemn religious celebrations and numerous cultural events to commemorate and re-enact the Translation of St Nicholas, with a historical procession that re-enacts the feat of the sailors from Bari who changed the very destiny of their city. On 8 May, the evocative ceremony comes to life in the narrow streets of Bari Vecchia, surrounded by the embrace of the sea. It is precisely on the waters of the sea that, once the statue crosses the portal of the church, it goes in a procession through the main streets of Bari to meet its pilgrims, and then waits on the sea for the pilgrims who come to pay homage to the saint on boats. On 9 May, the transfer of the relics in 1087 is remembered, where thanks to the audacity of 62 sailors the city of Bari received its most beautiful treasure. There was a solemn Eucharistic concelebration for a moment of great ecclesial communion with the invocation of the Holy Spirit and the prodigy of St Nicholas’ Manna, which oozes from the Saint’s bones and blesses the people.

Article by Puglia.com
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San Nicola di Bari, tutte le feste del Santo di Myra nell’anno
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