Date of publication: 11/11/2020

The flower that is always alive: a Vincentian tradition

World News

PALERMO – While in many other parts of the world is Halloween, in Sicily, a region of Italy where the feeling towards the deceased is very strong, the “Feast of the Deceased” is celebrated.

According to an ancient popular legend, on the night of All Saints’ Day, November 1st, the deceased visit the homes of their loved ones and, as a sign of affection, leave small gifts for the children.

But the day November 2nd is the real recurrence, that is celebrated every year on the streets of Sicilian cities. It is a very heartfelt and participatory event that involves every Sicilian family: everyone visits the tombs of their deceased to leave a flower, a candle, or simply an object in their memory. It is a bit as if, in those two days, the link with the afterlife had strengthened.

On this occasion, the Sicilian Conferences of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul organize meeting points near the cemeteries and collect free offers of money, proposing what is called: “The flower that is always alive”. It is an elegant card in the shape of a flower, on which are transcribed: the name of the deceased and the name of the family that pays the offer. Generally half of the donation is destined to the local church for a Mass in suffrage for the deceased, while the other half will be used to finance the activities of the Conferences.

This is a really nice way to do good to others while respecting tradition and nature, because no real flowers are damaged. And it’s also a nice way to let people know and tell them who we are and what we do.

In the photo, the Confreres of the Central Council Conferences of Termini Imerese (Palermo) collect offerings near the cemetery.

Alessandro Ginotta

Press Office – Italian Federation

Society of Saint Vincent De Paul