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Saints and travelers

Marco Aprile | France

The church’s square of Saintes Maries de la mer, full of faithful and with the camargues guardian on saddle of their white horses, is ready to welcome the exit from the church of the statues of Santa Maria Jacobe and Santa Maria Salomè.

On May 24, every year, the tranquility of the Provencal town of Saintes Maries de la Mer is interrupted for two days by the musical notes of the pilgrimage of the Gypsies who come from various parts of Europe to attend the annual celebration in honor of Sarah, protector of the gypsies, and of the two Marie, Mary Jacobe and Mary Salomè, who came to this land from the sea after being expelled from Palestine. While in the streets gypsies celebrate the day with traditional rhythms, in the crypt, Sarah's statue receives the tribute of the faithful. In the afternoon, between crowd's wings, escorted by the camargues guardians riding their white horses, Sarah's statue, dressed in silk cloaks and clothing, is taken from the Church till into the sea to symbolize the welcome of the patron of the gypsies when Maria Jacobe and Maria Salome arrived in this land. The following day is the turn of the procession of the two Marie, brought to the sea for the blessing of the waters.

Marco Aprile



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