In Enna, on the occasion of the Holy Week, the Church of Saint Michael has been reopened to the public for a few days. It was a mosque until a few centuries ago. Later, it was converted into a Catholic church.

During the Arab rule, which lasted about two centuries, Sicily was full of mosques. According to a historian, at that time there were more mosques in Palermo than in Istanbul.
Later, although there were many Catholics and also a few Muslim families, Enna was essentially pagan. The cult of the mother goddess Demeter and her daughter Kore was deep rooted in the hearts of the townspeople.
In 1412 the statue of the patron saint, Maria Santissima della Visitazione, came to Enna. Since then, the whole population has been Catholic.

Although the Holy Week is a legacy of the Spanish rule in Sicily, some brotherhoods date back to the Nights Templar. One of these is the brotherhood of the Most Holy Savior, which was founded in 1261, before the Spaniards conquered Sicily.
The brethren who belong to the brotherhood of the Holy Savior have the privilege of carrying in procession on their shoulders the glass sarcophagus containing the wooden statue of dead Jesus.
In Enna, during the Holy Week, folklore and religiosity intertwine. It is a unique event that is worth seeing.
Ettore Grillo, author of these books:
– A Hidden Sicilian History
– The Vibrations of Words
– Travels of the Mind





The very bad weather didn’t prevent the townspeople from pouring into the streets. Everybody followed the procession despite the intense cold.
On Palm Sunday, the brethren take in procession the wooden statue of Jesus.
The procession moves from the Church of San Leonardo to the cathedral church.
After mass in the cathedral, the procession goes back to the Church of San Leonardo.
The brethren who have the privilege of carrying the statue of Jesus on their shoulders are those who belong to the Confraternity of Passion. This brotherhood is one of the sixteen brotherhoods of Enna. It was established in the seventeenth century under the Spanish viceroy. In fact, Sicily was Spanish possession.
The rites of the Holy Week date back to the period of Spanish domination, but some brotherhoods are very old and claim to have been founded by the Knights Templar.
Ettore Grillo, author of these books:
– A Hidden Sicilian History
– The Vibrations of Words
– Travels of the Mind




The cult of Mary is deep-rooted in Enna. Every church has its Madonna to worship: Our Lady of Grace, Madonna of Valverde, Madonna of Children, Madonna of Lourdes, Madonna of the Rosary, and so on. The main Madonna is Our Lady of the Visitation, because she is the patron and the protector of Enna. The celebrations last for two weeks starting from July 2.

Today, the statue of Maria moves from The Monastery of Montesalvo to the duomo where it will remain until the next July 2.

Almost all the townspeople follow or watch the procession. We can say that the cult of Mary is engraved on the DNA of every Enna people.

When Cicero came to Enna which is called the navel of Sicily 2000 years ago, he was mesmerized by the sacredness of the place to such an extent that he felt that the citizens of Enna looked like “omnes sacerdotes” (all priests). He was right definitely.

Twenty centuries have passed since Cicero came here. Although the cult of Demeter has turned into that of Madonna these days, Cicero’s words are still pertinent. Few cities in the world can boast such a traditional cult like Madonna Feast.

Ettore Grillo, author of these books:

– A Hidden Sicilian History

– The Vibrations of Words

– Travels of the Mind





At five o’ clock in the evening, the Confraternity of the Passion moves from the Church of Saint Leonard and picks up from their churches one by one all the other confraternities. Therefore, it leads the procession. The others follow according to a fixed order.

All the brethren converge to the cathedral and from there they file to the cemetery. The municipal band, the chorus, and the city authorities follow the procession.

Every year, many tourists from all over the world come to Enna to see this event. Apparently, they are mesmerized by the parade. I have seen many of them following the procession hand in hand as if they were townspeople. It seems that they are enraptured with religious fervor.

Actually, a kind of mystic energy transpires from the procession. For what reason? Good Friday is not a mere folk event nor a rite. It is expression of intimate religiosity, innate in the soul of the people of Enna.

Ettore Grillo, author of these books:

– A Hidden Sicilian History

– The Vibrations of Words

– Travels of the Mind






In Enna, on Good Friday the procession is made up by fifteen confraternities (brotherhoods). On this day, about two thousand five hundred brethren of all ages file along the streets.

Their attire consists of a white alb, a white girdle, a white hood, a crown of wicker, and a cloak the color of which varies from one confraternity to another.

The oldest confraternity is that of the Most Holy Savior. Its members are granted the privilege to carry on their shoulders the feretory containing the statue of Jesus’s dead body. The color of their cloak is cream with a red cross which seems to evoke that of the Knights Templar. It was established in 1261. It is the oldest in Sicily. It is housed in the church having the same name.

The confraternity of Our Lady of Sorrows was founded relatively recently, but its members enjoy the privilege of carrying on their shoulders the litter of Our Lady. Their cloak is violet with a heart pierced by sever swords. The confraternity is housed in the church having the same name.

The confraternity of the Passion of Our Lord was established in 1660. It has the privilege to carry in procession the litter with the statue of Jesus on Palm Sunday. Furthermore, on Good Friday the brethren bear on trays the signs of the Passion of Jesus: the nails, the crown of thorns, the dice, the spear, and even an alive rooster. Their cloak is purple-red with the effigy of Jesus. The confraternity is housed in the church of Saint Leonard.


The other not less important confraternities are: The New Woman; The Holy Ghost; Saint Joseph; Holy Souls in Purgatory; The Holy Sacrament; The Virgin; Madonna of the Rosary; Madonna of Valverde (a quarter of Enna); Our Lady of Grace; Sacred Heart of Jesus; Our Lady of Visitation; The Most Holy Crucifix of Pergusa; Saint Anne.

Ettore Grillo, author of these books:

– A Hidden Sicilian History

– The Vibrations of Words

– Travels of the Mind


All over the world it is known that Italy is coping with the thorny issue of garbage disposal. This problem concerns not only the city of Naples but also my town Enna located in the center of Sicily.
Let us examine the facts. In truth there is a difference between the situation of Naples and my town. Naples is located in Campania, a region where the population density is very high, so it is really difficult to find garbage dumps faraway from built-up areas. My town indeed is located in the center of Sicily and isolated, faraway from other towns. Near Enna there is a very wide garbage dump, so I cannot see why my town is so overwhelmed with mountains of garbage.
Today, when I was walking along the street, by chance, I was interviewed by a national network. They asked me: “Who is the responsible of the chaos of the waste in Enna?” “Politicians” was my answer. Then I continued, “The cause is lacking of culture in politician class, so they are not able to manage the situation”.
Nevertheless when watching the television I saw the report, only the talk of the mayor of my town appeared, and my interview was omitted, it was cut off. Is this democracy? Is this transparency?
The place of my town where I was interviewed is called Napoleone Colajanni square. Napoleone Colajanny was a politician of my town but also a scholar. He was a sociologist. In 1892 he unveiled the scandal of Roman Bank. He wrote books about mafia as well. He was an honest politician. He considered politics as service to people. Nowadays politicians consider politics as service to themselves!
I have written a book “Travels of the Mind”. In it I point out a new way of living. My website is