Collecting the folklore and uses of plants

St Antonio de la Florida verbena

Posted on by royvickery |

The feast day of St Anthony (Antonio) of Padua occurs on 13 June, the anniversary of his death in 1231.  In the parish of Sta Cruz, Madrid, this is marked by the distribution of bread and cherries (Prunus cvs) by the Real Ilustre y Primitiva Congregacion de San Antonio de Padua, ‘El Guindero’.

According to legend a peasant taking cherries to market on a donkey spilled his load and on seeing the fruit roll down hill prayed to St Anthony.  A monk appeared and helped the peasant gather the spilt fruit, asking him to take a handful to the church of St Nicolàs when he had finished selling them.  At the end of the day the peasant went to the church, and found it empty, but on seeing a painting of St Anthony within it he was convinced that it was the saint who had helped him gather his cherries.

Images: Sta Cruz church, Madrid, 14 June 2022.

Comments and corrections would be appreciated –


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