Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Saint Anthony protector

Welcome to our blog, Genzano it story
and this post. Saint Anthony protector of Genzano town

 Saint Anthony protector of Genzano town
This is an aerial photo of the old Genzano, as you can see it is on a hill situated between two chasms, therefore it is hard to get in easily, so they had this advantage that could and would help them in case of war, and this might have been the reason why they refused to give the enemy what they wanted. Now beside having this good position, they might very likely have some friends that would help them, it is very likely that the castle of Monteserico already existed and would come to their help, anyhow this is just another possibility.


The people of Genzano believe that Saint Anthony protected Genzano by making it rain and snow and then being so cold that froze all the war machines saved Genzano from destruction.

One of the ancient War machines, of course there are many other types of war machine around, but perhaps something like this war machine became frozen and could not be used to destroy Genzano.

This is the castle of Monteserico that the Norman have used to dominate in this part of Southern Italy. Nobody seems to know today when this castle was built, but it might have been there already, when the story of Saint Anthony happened.

 Saint Anthony protector of Genzano town

Dear readers, this post is the continuation of our last post, Genzano history as we know it and in this post we are going to talk about saint Anthony the protector of Genzano town, so let us start:  As we all know most if not all places in the world have a protector or patron, it is our human way of doing these things, of course there is a story about this protector and most likely it explains the reason why this person or Saint is the protector of this or that place.
Now that we have explained that, let us tell you about Genzano di Lucania protector; this is a very old story about Genzano; and it may well be after the time when the Roman Empire collapsed: And this story that we are telling you here is about St. Antonio Abate who is still nowadays the patron saint of Genzano, this story most probably goes back to the fifth century AD or there about, a sort of Genzano town already existed then, as we have proof in the archive of Potenza that two martyrs were executed in Genzano in the year 258 AD.
Anyhow, there was a war going on at that time when this happened: The town of Genzano made resistance to the enemy aggression and its demands, so it was put under siege. The enemy was furious and was going to destroy Genzano; so they set their war machines ready for tomorrow to begin the assault of Genzano and destroy it. The town of Genzano was in grave danger, but that night the weather rained, snowed and became bitterly cold, it was so cold that froze everything stiff, so cold and frozen were the war machines that they could not be used or even moved, and the weather was cold for a very long time afterward, until the enemy became tired and left; and that’s how Genzano was saved from destruction. The day that this event happened was on the 17th day of January, which is the day of St. Antonio Abate according to the Roman Catholic calendar. See what I found on the Internet about this great saint:
Anthony the Great or Antony the Great (c. 251–356), (CopticⲀⲃⲃⲁⲀⲛⲧⲱⲛⲓ), also known as Saint Anthony, Anthony the Abbot, Anthony of Egypt,Anthony of the Desert,Anthony the Anchorite, Abba Antonius (Ἀββᾶς Ἀντώνιος), andFather of All Monks, was a Christiansaint from Egypt, a prominent leader among the Desert Fathers. He is celebrated in many churches on his feast days: 30 January in the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Coptic Orthodox Church; 17 January in the Roman Catholic Church and the Coptic Catholic Church.
The biography of Anthony's life by Athanasius of Alexandria helped to spread the concept of monasticism, particularly in Western Europe through Latin translations. He is often erroneously considered the first monk, but as his biography and other sources make clear, there were many ascetics before him. Anthony was, however, the first known ascetic going into the wilderness, a geographical shift that seems to have contributed to his renown.[4]
Anthony is appealed to against infectious diseases, particularly skin diseases. "Saint Anthony's fire" has described different afflictions including ergotism,erysipelas and shingles.
End of Internet report about Saint Anthony.
Now that we have explained who was this great Saint Anthony, let us tell you how the story goes: The folks of Genzano believe that this incredible happening of cold weather was due to divine intervention through St. Antonio Abate: And this is the reason why St. Antonio Abate was made Patron Saint and protector of Genzano; this belief about Saint Anthony has lasted to the present time, and here we have to add that even today when there is a problem in this town, let us say it has not rained for a long time, so rain is needed for the fields to grow, the priest and the people soon take Sant’Antonio out in a procession through the town and into the country, in the hope that Sant’Antonio will help to make it rain. This is how the people of Genzano venerate this great Saint Anthony.
Now let us go back to Genzano history, for a very long time after this happening above and during the Dark Ages; (Here we have reason to believe that the Dark Ages are called dark ages just because there is no much written history about them) there doesn’t seem to be any real history written about Genzano town also, and therefore nobody seems to know what has happened during that period of time. History seems to slowly restart at the beginning of the second millennium, which we are going to talk about in our next story, starting with this post, as there is a lot to be said. The Normans in Italy

The Normans in Italy

This is some history of Genzano Menteserico castle and the Normans as we understand it.

Let us explain first that what we are writing here is also a personal story, this story somehow bridges history itself and explains things that most of us did not know before, therefore we have become aware recently; so, let me tell you my personal story first and how it is linked to this town history:
You see, I have come from this town of Genzano, and since I came to Australia I have worked in the building industry where I met this Frenchmen called Luis, we worked with the same firm for a few years and most times I and Luis worked together, so we knew each other well. Luis came to Australia when France left Algeria and the army of Algeria was dismantled so to speak, Luis was a captain in the army, so he had learned about many army things including army history. Anyhow let me come to the point of why Luis knowledge is important here.
One day I was looking on the TV at the Tour of France, this stage was run in Normandy, so while I was looking at the country side I saw this castle in the background, which I could have sworn that it was exactly the same as the castle that I had been seeing thousands of times from my farm in southern Italy. So next time when I met Luis I asked him about it and surprise, surprise no sooner I mentioned the castle of Monteserico that he knew all about it, so he explained to me.
The Normans have only built two castles one in France and another in southern Italy, and from this castle of Monteserico they would dominate all their conquests of southern Italy. So here is the proof that Luis gave me, which is that the castle of Monteserico has been built from the Normans; but I was wandering whether it could be true, I know that Luis believed it was true, but I had my doubts.
Now we have to say that even with this Frenchman called Luis explanation about the castle of Monteserico, we are not sure if he was right to assume that the Normans built this castle, Luis story only shows us that this castle of Monteserico has been used from the Normans, because there are other stories about its origin; in fact there is even a story that this castle could have been built from a Roman family to run the surrounding countryside, or it might have been built as a monastery in the beginning of the Christian Era, and then went through several changes and owners that used it in different ways. It was built above caves where indigenous people used to live a very long time ago.
Anyhow the fact remains that the Norman really had possessed the castle of Monteserico, because history shows us that in the X or XI century there indeed was a great battle around this castle won by the Norman, and therefore the Normans used this castle to dominate their conquests in southern Italy.
To see more click on links below;
Here we could also add this link, in this link there is a lot more said about this castle of Monteserico and about Genzano history, it is a site created years ago from this Architect of Genzano, C. Pietrapertosa, (it is written in Italian)

 Arch. Pietrapertosa - Storia e dintorni - Genzano di Lucania,

Now let us go back to talk about the modern Genzano; or should we say the Era when they started to build, or perhaps rebuilt the modern Genzano as it exists today, we guess that it could have been the twelfth or the thirteen century, and this is what was happening then in the new would be Genzano: You see in this castle of Monteserico that the Norman had used as we have written above, which is about fifteen kilometres away from Genzano and situated East-South-East of Genzano. This is an old castle built or perhaps modified from the Norman’s or somebody else during or after the fall of the Roman Empire when they overrun Italy; it is said that a long time ago there was a small town around the castle, but today there is no real evidence of it and no real history when it cessed to exist. All we know is that today no other building has been built near this castle except a small chapel. Anyhow when the Norman domination came to an end, after many battles and other things; it happens that sometime later on, it was owned from other important people and one day there was this Spanish Princes called Aquilina Sancia, who later on would become the new founder of Genzano town, and even today the people of Genzano feel grateful towards her.
I believe that we have said enough in this post, so see you in our next post that we are going to call Aquilina Sancia queen of Monteserico.  
Genzano it story
Saint Anthony protector of Genzano
Next time with, Aquilina Sancia queen of Monteserico

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