In Chapter Nineteen of my book, Towel Dry and a Good Cry, Josie and her family go to the Feast of Our Lady. In the Boston area, where I’m originally from, The Feast of The Three Saints is celebrated by Italians and their community, similar to Josie’s experience, over the Labor Day Weekend. The Feast honors three martyred brothers, Saints, Alfio, Filadelfo and Cirino.
The purpose of this feast is to maintain the tradition of honoring the Holy Martyrs of the Christian Faith, to celebrate with family and the community, and to contribute to charities in the area.
Born in the third century in southeastern Italy during the Roman persecution of the Christians, the brothers Alfio, Filadelfo and Cirino were educated in the Christian faith. As young boys, they witnessed the persecution and martyrdom of their mother. The Roman Court knew that the Three Brothers were Christians from a noble family and tried to make them turn away from Christianity and worship pagan gods.
The brothers refused and were sent to Tertullo, the merciless governor of Sicily, in Lentini. Tertullo was ordered to force their Christian faith away from them using any means, including torture. They were beaten and tortured cruelly while in Lentini, and several times St. Andrew the Apostle appeared to them and healed their wounds. Tertullo tried in vain to make Alfio and his brothers change their beliefs, but they remained steadfast in their faith.
After several months of beating and torturing, Tertullo became furious and ordered his soldiers to produce the final instruments of death for the Brothers: a pair of tongs to tear out the tongue of Alfio, a gridiron set over a fire for Filadelfo and a cauldron filled with oil and pitch for Cirino. On May 10th in the year 243 A.D. the Three Brothers were martyred in Lentini. The Romans tied 22-year-old Alfio to a post and tore out his tongue. Filadelfo, 21 years old, was burned upon a gridiron and Cirino, only 19, was thrown into a cauldron of boiling oil.
The story didn’t end there. During their lifetime and even after their death, numerous miracles have occurred which are attributed to the intercession of the Three Saints, even today.
Judy DeLuca’s Latest Novel
Towel Dry and a Good Cry is about a young girl, new to the hairdressing business, that learns all too quick that there is more to standing behind the chair than just cutting hair. A story full of laughs and tears lies and fears with characters you’ll love, hate or will leave your jaw hanging open!
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