Are even three legends that are told in Matera on this party.
One of these tells of an unknown girl, appeared to a worker of the land to return to the city of Matera. The girl asked the good man a ride in his chariot, and these, after having driven her to the gates of the city, near the church of Piccianello, saw her become statue. The Virgin then greeted the incredulous peasant whispering these words: “And’ so, on a decorated cart, I want to go every year in my city”.

A second legend on because of the destruction of the Triumphal Chariot, tells instead of a probable attack of the Saracens. The materani, to avert the danger that the icons of their deep devotion and veneration fall into the hands of the attackers, destroyed them first wagon, avoiding the looting.

The third legend, instead of Count Tramontano, Lord of Matera, has promised to the people of Matera everything necessary for the conduct of the festival in honor of the patron saint, even a new cart annually. The materani to test pain endured tyrant, assaulted the Chariot triumphant forcing the Count to keep his promise.

Madonna della Bruna


Sacred Image

And’ materani rooted in the belief that the name comes from the Bruna brown color image of the Virgin present in the Cathedral. The restoration, however, has denied that claim, In fact, the color is quite clear and the opacity was due to the smoke of burning candles in the Mother Church by believers through the centuries. The name was then probably instituted by Urban VI in the same moment in which he proposed the establishment of this feast (1389).

Kittens instead attaches to the word “bruna” (which means armor) the meaning of the name.

For others “bruna” would be a reduction in the dialect of Hebron, cities of Judea where the Virgin visited Saint Elizabeth. Hence the other name used less “Visitation”.

Institution of the Feast of the Visitation


Feast of the Visitation

The Archbishop of Prague John Jenstein instituted the feast of the Visitation in his jurisdiction and suggested to Urban VI (Pope's 1378 to the 1389) to extend it to the whole Church, to avoid its definitive division. Bartolomeo Prignano, former bishop of the city of Matera, proposed to the Cardinals in the consistory of’ 8 April 1389 the introduction of the feast “The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary” with the intention of achieving peace in the political and ecclesiastical, while very restless (Great Western Schism).

However, it was Boniface IX to make her the idea of ​​this festival and, not just crossed the papal throne, published on November 8 1389 the Bull “Supernal kindness Creator” drawn up by his predecessor.

The data of 2 July


2 July

Traditionally, in accordance with the facts evangelicals Visitation described the Luca (Lc. I, 39-56). We read that Mary remains at her cousin Elizabeth until the birth of John the Baptist, probably waiting for another eight days for the rite of the imposition of the name. By accepting this calculation of the period elapsed, the feast of the Visitation, Source Franciscan (the Friars Minor in the already celebrated 1263), was celebrated on 2 July, ie at the end of the visit of Mary. It would have been more logical to place its memory after 25 March, Feast of the Annunciation, but he wanted to keep her from falling during Lent.

The party was then extended to the entire Latin Church by Pope Urban VI to propitiate the intercession of Mary, peace and the unity of Christians divided by the Great Schism of the West. The synod of Basel, at its meeting on 10 July 1441, confirmed the feast of the Visitation, initially not accepted by the Member who sided with the anti-pope.

The current liturgical calendar, not taking into account the chronology suggested from the Gospel, has abandoned the traditional date of the 2 July (formerly the Visitation was commemorated on other dates) to fix the memory of the last day of May, as a culmination of the month that the popular devotion to the cult devotes particular the Virgin.

Still exists on this date the Feast of the Visitation of Holy Mary patroness of the city of Enna and this demonstrates the coincidence of this date with the Octave of the Feast of St. John the Baptist.

Other thesis try to date back Celebrations 2 July in Matera even before the establishment of the Visitation took place in 1389, but there are no documents to substantiate this claim or not.

The Procession of the Shepherds


Pastors of Bruna

The so-called Procession “shepherds” is always playing in the early hours of dawn from the Cathedral to get around town (the two districts of the Sassi). From the 1800 appear the first two drums and then two violins accompanying the Framework of the Madonna for the parishes and the main churches of the Caveoso and Barisano. Returning the procession in the Mother Church, to congregants and the musicians were offered breakfast.

Among the aspects that characterize the folk Procession, definitely deserve to be mentioned the 'battery of gunpowder, that warn of the passage of the framework of the Virgin; Another feature is the display on the balconies of velvet white as a sign of celebration.

Already in the nineties, the path traversed by the Procession, was modified and lengthened. as one might expect, today, Pastors of Bruna through the older neighborhoods of the City, without retracing the narrow alleys that characterize the Sassi.

Elements Profane



The secular element that appears first, in 1605, is the fireworks. Historical documents reads purchasing a roll of dust. The shot of a bomb card as an indicator of the festivities was used here before in any other event, and will be introduced in the party by the will not only of the people, but also of priests and gentlemen (that is, those who took care of the expenses).

After the fireworks, the other element profane to score a first in the Festival are the lights. Following numerous restorations made over the centuries to the bell tower of the Cathedral, there are traces and the testimony of the first lights and street lamps that enrich Piazza Duomo. Following the lights were extended to the square of the Seat. For political and security, the 10 December 1768 was willing to Naples (in the eighteenth century Matera belonged to the Bourbons) that all processions were to take place in the morning, in no case in the afternoon. After various vicissitudes in 1836 you allow processions after Vespers, provided terminate within 23.30 and the main streets are illuminated cross.

Unpublished curiosity and previous editions



1500 – The Count of Matera Giancarlo Tramontano, to give greater solemnity to the celebrations of 2 July, provides his carriage as Triumphal Chariot to use as the throne of the Virgin.

1690 – With the addition of a duchy and four pugs, he made the first Triumphal Chariot by the carpenter Leonardo Traietto. The Chariot was later decorated by Don Leonardo Angelino.

1836 – Fire, caused by the numerous lights of colored paper, used to give light on the Civita Materana, ruin the wooden structures of the Campanile of the Cathedral.

1842 – The Sottointendente Chiarini, District of Matera, proposes the coronation of the statue of the Madonna. The proposal was accepted the 14 August of the same year by the Holy See, and the ceremony took place in the first three days of July of the following year under the Archbishopric of Mons. Mark Di. The Virgin and the Holy Child are adorned with two silver crowns.

1867 – The 2 July of that year not holding the festival because of serious economic difficulties. The ceremony will be held on 19 September.

1899 – The two cousins ​​Angelo and Michele Tataranni, pyrotechnic, lose their lives because of an accident during the preparation of the show of fireworks.

1940 – In 4 years of World War II the traditional Feast of the 2 July has no place, are held only live religious services. The festivities resumed in Verrano 1945.

1958 – After the encirclement, by some men at the height of the Villa Comunale, car occupied by the Curia Matera, is imposed silence of the loudspeakers and the car leaves the procession. In that same year the Chariot was attacked prematurely.

1971 – Gen. Cavalcade of Angelo Sardone falls from his horse and was replaced by Enzo Cappiello.

1973 – Theft of gold crowns in the Cathedral of Our Lady.

1974 – The Chariot is destroyed near the Church of St. Francis of Assisi, protest, are switched off the lights.

1976 – Appear the defenders who surrounded the carriage during the evening parade. Vulgarly called “ù vastos'r”, the following year will adopt the traditional gladiator costume with green color. Many still remember them today as “i gave”.

1980 – Near Via Annunziatella, Mons. Michael Jordan fell from his horse. Next edition, clergy faced the procession of vintage cars.

1986 – For three editions of the Knights parade in multiple groups, expressing disagreements that sometimes degenerated into acts of intimidation.

1989 – Mons. Ennio Appignanesi celebrating the sixth centenary institution of the Feast of Matera.

1991 – The 27 April, Pope John Paul II, visiting Matera, blesses the icon of the Madonna della Bruna, then dedicating a prayer.

1996 – Due to an arson, a few weeks before the feast, Chariot traditional paper mache, already under decoration, is brutally ruined. The article, however, was rebuilt in time to allow it to carry, without exception, celebrations.

1997 – In the district of Piccianello, just before the evening parade, takes an attempted theft of one of the mules used to tow the Chariot. The animal will be recovered shortly after near Via Kittens.

2000 – Pope John Paul II in St. Peter receives the Bishop Antonio Ciliberti, the Committee for the celebrations in honor of Maria della Bruna SS.ma and the Knights of Bruna, the latter dressed in traditional clothes of 2 July.

2005 – In this edition, for the defense of the building paper mache participate, in addition to the police, even the Bersaglieri and Alpini.

2007 – Given the unavailability of the Cathedral, the path of the Chariot is abbreviated and functions are held in the Church of St. Francis of Assisi. The protection of the Chariot is entrusted to young materani, that assault you first the Chariot, a hundred yards before.