The sixth month of the year, the month of Freedom or the Sun, dedicated to the Goddess Juno, between the Sacred and the Profane, June is a month rich in religious and other celebrations.
The great saints of the month of the Sun include Anthony, John the Baptist and Saints Peter and Paul. If for the beloved Anthony, the celebrations begin at the beginning of the month with the well-known Tredicina (Thirteen-Day Novena), daily prayers of thirteen days through which the Graces are requested, we have to wait until the end of the month for the celebrations of John, Peter and Paul. In Rome, the celebrations of the three saints take on a special significance. The Roman Night between the 23rd and 24th of June, when the Feast of St John takes place, is very important.
The famous Night of the Witches, in which the magical and the profane mingle, is one of the most eagerly awaited and commemorative events of the pre-Christian and, why not, religious tradition. According to tradition, on the evening before St John's Day, the witches would gather at the Basilica dedicated to the Saint to collect the souls of Herodias and Salome, those who asked for the Saint's beheading. Sacred and profane come together: tradition has it that women were the undisputed stars of the evening. Dressed in men's clothes, unable to enter the Basilica because they were guilty of the Saint's martyrdom, they provoked the men by asking them for tips.
Among bonfires, dances, "blow-outs" in taverns, distribution of Holy Water and herbs, the Night of St. John continued until dawn the next day. It continued until the firing of the cannon at the Castle, reminding the good Christians that it was time to go to the religious celebration in honour of the Saint, with the Mass presided over by the Holy Father.
Another date not to be forgotten is 28 June, the day that marks the opening of the celebrations for the city's patron saints.The Vigil of the Patronal Feast begins at the Vatican with the dressing of the statue of St Peter by the Pope. This is followed by the 'Vesproni' and the blessing of the Pallia. The two Christian martyrs, the first of whom, Peter, was the one to whom Jesus entrusted the building of the Church (Matthew 16, 13-20), were killed on the same day, 29 June. But June is rich in events not only from a religious point of view.
On the secular side, this beautiful month marks the transition from Spring to Summer. June 21, the Summer Solstice, is the longest day of the year. From this moment on, the hours of light will be shorter than the hours of darkness. The Moon gains ground on the Sun.
It is no coincidence that the lucky stone of the month is the Pearl. Also known as Tears of the Moon, the similarity between the two is evident, from sphericity to the same colours. Pearls remind us of the association between the Moon and the Pearl and, invariably, of Femininity, Elegance and Womanhood. Therefore, June is the occasion not only to commemorate four great Saints but also to celebrate the Woman, a Pearl among Pearls...