A family story

Every year, on May 1st, our family meets with the inhabitants of our lands to celebrate an ancient tradition

Arriving in Santa Croce, you will be welcomed by Marinella: the person who wanted the Domus Laetitae to continue living around families.

When Marinella was a child, her family also frequented these places, together with friends who have always been the peasant civilization of this part of the Umbrian countryside.

In Santa Croce you will find many testimonies: old black and white photos on the walls, the places of spirituality where families gathered, the ceramic artefacts traces of craftsmanship experienced in the first person, the places of socializing such as the large salon where the tradition of the Holy Cross is still renewed today.

The Holy Cross was the name of the begging linked to the May Day rites until this feast was remo- ved from the liturgical calendar of the Roman rite in the early 1960s, leaving only the anniversary of September 14th.

The festival in early May was undoubtedly linked to archaic wishes for prosperity and propitiatory rites for agricultural civilization.
With the depopulation of the countryside, tradition has been lost in many parts of Italy. In others, however, it survived maintaining the function of social consolidation of the bonds within the com- munity, and the preservation of tradition.

It still happens today in many places: from the Palermitan countryside to Tuscany, to the areas of Pavia and Piacenza. It is also celebrated in many places in Spain (Valencia) and Latin America as “Fiesta de las Cruces” or “Cruz de Mayo”.

And it has happened here, for centuries, in this place which also bears its name: Santa Croce in Rasina.

Every year, on May 1, the farmers meet with their families and the owners of the lands, for the blessing of the fields, for the Holy Mass, to celebrate the gifts received and to obtain help from the future work, up to the evening recitation of the Holy Rosary.

So did Marinella as a child with her whole family. This continues to be done today, making Domus Laetitiae the precious container of a centuries-old relationship between families and nature.

If you come to visit us on May Day, you can be part of this beautiful tradition.




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