Saint Anthony the Abbot (Coma, Qumans 250/251 - desert of the Thebaid January 17th, 356/357) is the patron Saint of the pets, livestock, of the farmer and related and/or derivatives work (such as butchers, bakers, grocers, basket makers, shearers, etc.), fire, skin diseases (eg herpes zoster, the “fuoco di sant'Antonio) and of the gravediggers. Also considered the first of the abbots and founder and pioneer of the Christian monastic asceticism, so that St. Benedict will be guided by him in the sixth century for the creation of the Western monasticism. And, therefore, considered to be the protector of the hermits and monks.
Also called as Anthony the Great, Antony the Great, Saint Anthony, Saint Anthony of Egypt, Anthony of the Desert, Anthony the Anchorite, Anthony of Thebes, Abba Antonius, Father of All Monks and Sant'Antuono (the latter used in Southern Italy for not confuse him with St. Anthony of Padua, ed), is one of the most beloved and revered saints in the borghi of the Valnerina, where it is celebrated, as in Italy, on January 17th of each year:
- in Cascia , the Feast of St. Antonio Abate is inserted inside of the event "Tradizione, che Passione!". Three days of celebrations with two Masses, the "asta delle agnelle" (auction of the ewe lambs) and the "Pasquarelle" Interregional Season, one of the oldest and most important event of popular music of the entire Valnerina;
- in Norcia, at the Monastery of St. Anthony of the Benedictine nuns, Mass and blessing of the cattle, of the salt and of the wheat. Following the shepherds parade through the city and auction of the ewe lambs) .Info: Municipality of Norcia, tel. (+39) 0743 824911;
- in Monteleone di Spoleto (PG) the woodcutters, after bless their pack animals like donkeys, mules and horses, leave to the parish priest their load of wood, that will be used to heat the rectory during the long winter months;
- in Preci the celebrations take place during the afternoon, at the Caritas center. Mass at 15:00, followed by blessing of the animals and refreshment in the square in front of the Caritas center;
- in Scheggino, after the Mass, in the San Nicola's churchyard or in the main square, the priest blesses all the animals that are accompanied by their respective owners. Generally follows a refreshment or drink offered to all the bystanders by the Santesi (organizers of the event) in the Aretta of St. Anthony. Following a lunch at a local restaurant where traditionally participate only men, and on that occasion there is the election of the Santesi who have the task of organizing the festival of the following year. For more info: Municipality of Scheggino, tel. (+39) 0743 613232.