The  Sanctuary  Of  Saint  Rosalia

The statue of St. Rosalia, donated by King Charles III of Bourbon, lying under a baldachin, clothed in a gilded silver mantle and surrounded by a host of votive offerings.


The veneration of this solemn and grave woman figure by the people of Palermo can be traced back to the 17C, when a hunter accidentally found the Saintís bones in a cave, on 15 July 1625. St Rosalia was born c 1132 from count Sinibaldo della Quisqinia and Mary Guiscard, related to Roger II. At the age of 18, she was introduced to the Norman court as a maid of honour of Marguerite of Navarre, William Iís wife. Her family was ruined as a consequence of a anti-royal plot brought forth by the aristocracy, led by Admiral Matteo Bonello, lord of Caccamo, and bloodily repressed by the sovereign after the assassination of his minister Maione di Bari. Rosaliaís father, count Sinibaldo, who had taken part in the plot, was killed and the family property confiscated; as the rebellion was subdued, in 1161, Rosalia definitively consecrated her life to Jesus and lived as a hermit in a cave on Monte Pellegrino till her death on 4 September 1166. In 1625 a violent epidemic of plague struck Palermo, and the Saintís relics were carried in a procession thought the city, causing the immediate end of the scourge. Every year, from 13 to 15 July, in the Palermitans arrange a three-day celebrations to thank St Rosalia for the miracle, renewing the traditional devotion to their venerated patron Saint.

Top: The 17C faÁade of the Sanctuary, placed at a height of 429 m on the mountain side, near the cave in which St Rosalia lived her hermitís life.