Events, food, experiences for an unforgettable trip to Italy

Saint Thomas Feast – Ortona

4-5 May 2024. The “Festa del Perdono” in honour of Saint Thomas.

Festa del Perdono - Abruzzo
04 May 2024 - 05 May 2024 Abruzzo -Ortona (Chieti)  Folklore-Traditions | Historical reenactments

The first Saturday and Sunday of May – this year on May 4th and 5th 2024 – in Ortona, a small town in Abruzzo, the feast celebrates the Patron Saint Apostle Thomas with the Festa del Perdono (Forgiveness Celebration).

The feast dates back to 1479, when Pope Sisto IV allowed plenary indulgence to the believers who were visiting the church of Saint Thomas.

The Festa del Perdono is marked by 2 processions of Saint Thomas’ statue on the streets at the start and at the end of the religious and historical celebrations.

On Saturday afternoon the historical parade of the “Lady of the Keys” leaves from the Palazzo Farnese and it arrives at Ortona’s Cathedral. All municipality authorities, ladies, knights, notable people, armourbearers, musicians and flag wavers wearing Medieval and Renaissance costumes are involved in the parade. When it reaches the Cathedral the lady gives the silver keys to open the urn with the silver Bust of the Saint.

On the morning of Sunday, it takes place the ritual of Saint Thomas Offering, in which people look forward to offering to the Saint the first fruits of the main products that they cultivate and produce in the area.
At the sea near Ortona, Saint Thomas feast is celebrated also by a boat parade, to remember the disembark of the Saint’s relics, abducted in Macedonia by an expedition of King Manfredi in 1258.
In the evening the procession brings back the relic of the Saint in the cathedral followed by the big crowd devoted to the world-famous apostle who believed only on what he saw.

During Saint Thomas feast the town is decorated with many lights and concerts and performances of talented people from Abruzzo are held.

Check the website>>> or the facebook page>>> for any possible change of dates or program

What else can you do in Abruzzo?
Take the chance to taste its traditional food>>>

(photos by Matteo Palmas)