The festivities of Saint Gerard take place in Caposele at two different times of the year: the Great Feast, scheduled for the first Sunday in September; and the Solemnity, held on 16 October, the saint's feast day.
Introduced in 2019, the Great Feast of Saint Gerard continues the tradition of the First Feast in early September, when large numbers of pilgrims flock to Materdomini, a hamlet of Caposele, on the first Sunday of the month, to pay homage to the patron saint of mothers and children. From the early hours of the morning, the devoted gather at the Sanctuary of Saint Gerard to attend the Eucharistic celebrations. Then, in the afternoon, there is a very long and popular procession through the streets of Materdomini, with the statue of the saint accompanied by various banners depicting portraits and the main scenes of his life.
The Solemnity of Saint Gerard, scheduled for the following month, is preceded by the Novena, during the period from 7 to 15 October: on each of these days, various communities from the so-called "Gerardine villages" officially join in the celebrations, attending the Shrine of Materdomini. At the end of the Novena, on the evening of 15 October, the commemoration of the transit of Saint Gerard is celebrated, followed by the offering of oil for the lamp and the night vigil. The following day, 16 October, the Solemnity takes place, with the Eucharistic concelebration, the blessing of the wheat and the procession through the streets of Materdomini, before the Holy Mass and the eagerly awaited fireworks that close the festivities once and for all.
A tradition that is renewed every year, the Feast of Saint Gerard is a time of great spirituality for the many pilgrims who come to Caposele with their hearts full of hope and faith.
Santuario di San Gerardo Maiella
Via Santuario Materdomini, 27, 83040 Materdomini AV, Italia