Testo di Giuseppe Condello

The statue of the Crucifix of Cutro is the work of the Sicilian sculptor, Fra Umile da Petralia and dates back to 1630. It reflects the characters of the representation of the drama of Christ on the cross according to the dictates of the Counter-Reformation period. Wooden statuary that of Fra Umile which also reflects the Franciscan culture of the period and which finds a motivation in the depiction of Christ by Spanish sculptors and painters.

The Crucifix of Cutro has three expressions on the face: smiling, dying, dead. This is a sign of an unparalleled sculptural ability and an emblematic humanistic force of vision of a life in its various moments. The Crucifix of Cutro goes beyond all epochs; it is a narrative testimony of the piety and the poignant tenderness and emotion that the human soul takes in the face of the act of the Crucifixion. And Cutro is devoted to her Crucifix, and the feast has been celebrated there since 1861. So every year there is the party in a minor tone, while every seven years there is the so-called “big” party, to indicate it as an extraordinary event. Here is what I wrote years ago: “The seven-year feast of the S.S. Crucifix has very specific origins that date back to 1800. In 1854 a severe drought hit Cutro and the peasants began to pray in front of the statue of the Crucifix so that it would grant them the grace of rain. As stated by Mons. Antonio Piterà in this period: “This city, where everything is motion, had taken the appearance of a necropolis, hunger ruled over it, and it seemed that the calamitous times of that obstinate dryness of land had returned for us. and of heaven which, under the reign of the wicked Ahab, tormented the unhappy Israel ”.

And the rain came and again in 1857 there was the discomfort of peasants and laborers opposite to that of drought, that is, excessive rain. The population still turned to the Crucifix and had the grace of the cessation of the aforementioned rains starting from 29 June. This was the confirmation of the need for a processional recurrence that would tie even more popular devotion to the Crucifix with a sort of sacral pact. Sacral pact in the sense of protecting collective life from climatic and natural calamities, we think of the famines that are very much felt in a peasant and laborer society, and a sacred pact in the sense of sacralization of space. This took place over time with the historical passage between the different generations of the miraculous event of 1854. History indicates a remote complexity of senses in the event of a founding act, in the pact of sacralization that recalls the identity expressed in the cultural and biological anthropology of the human being ”(from Frate Umile da Petralia and the Crucifix of Cutro. Historical sign and theological sign, Youcanprint 2013).