Legend of the Simulacrum of San Sebastiano in Melilli


Andrew Malone - CC2.0

Legend of the Simulacrum of San Sebastiano tells the origin of the cult of San Sebastiano in Melilli.
According to legend, on 1 May 1414 a large ship ran aground on the shores of the Priolo fiefdom, and despite the storm the crew remained unharmed. The miraculous event was attributed to the presence on the boat of the Simulacrum of San Sebastiano. The inhabitants of Augusta tried to carry the crate with the Simulacrum to Augusta, but they could not, because the load was too heavy. After several attempts, it was the inhabitants of Melilli who managed to transport the crate with the simulacrum inside, as if the Saint's will were to reach the town of Melilli. The inhabitants of Melilli thus built the first church dedicated to San Sebastiano which was however completely destroyed by the earthquake of 1693. The statue of the saint remained miraculously intact and today is kept in the Basilica of San Sebastiano di Melilli.
In memory of the discovery of the simulacrum of San Sebastiano every May, in Melilli, a great party is held in honor of the saint.

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