The town of Calamonaci was founded at the end of the sixteenth century with the inhabitants of the New Land granted with an act of 1574 from Charles of Aragon to the Baron de Termini in 1582.
A relatively recent town even if the origin of the name Calamonaci comes from the Saracen period and Kal-at-Munach means stop or rest fortress.
But starting from 1582 people arrived from different places (Corleone, Burgio, Palazzo Adriano, Sciacca, Villafranca) and brought with them various baggage of traditions that have characterized the town we know today.
The pride of the town of Calamonaci is undoubtedly the feast of the patron saint San Vincenzo Ferreri, a Dominican born in Valencia in Spain called the Angel of the Apocalypse.
The origins of the devotion to San Vincenzo date back to 1584, when Bernardino de Termini Ferreri, son of the founder of the village, had requested and obtained the archpriesthood’s foundation bull. On that occasion, he committed himself to erecting a church dedicated to the Spanish saint.
Through this passage the noble family carried out an operation of political-symbolic self-promotion for which it chose a saint considered to be a “family”. A choice that would be repeated in the new centre of Casteltermini, also founded by the Termini Ferreri in 1629.
In the following years, the fief of Calamonaci was sold to the Baron De Spuches who expanded the town plan.
A confrontation was created between the families of the first inhabited nucleus (who settled in 1574) and the new areas created by the De Spuches.
A confrontation that would be condensed around the symbols of identification of devotion: San Michele and San Giovanni.
The two factions, Sammichilara and Sangiuannara (whose ownership is handed down from father to son), emphasize their challenge even today during the celebrations in honour of San Vincenzo Ferreri.
A competition that is held with choirs, dances of simulacra (the so-called rigattiate) carried on the shoulders of the faithful and with the amazing competition based on firecrackers and fireworks.
Over the years, the feast of San Vincenzo has undergone changes, mainly linked to the period of the celebrations and to the methods of carrying out the same, but has never lost the spirit of tradition and the exaltation of devotion to San Vincenzo, San Giovanni and San Michele.
The devotion to San Vincenzo Ferreri is not contained only in the three canonical days of celebration. In fact, during the year, every Tuesday a group of faithful gathers to walk “u giru di li santi” (the streets that are usually crossed during processions) to ask for a grace with the Saint’s intercession.
“U Viaggiu di Sammincenzu” takes place by reciting a rosary sung in honour of the Saint himself. Here is an excerpt:
“San Vicenzu is lu gran santu and di dio amatu tantu.
An angilu calatu and Diu l’annamuratu.
The swarm of l’amuri san Vincenzu lu protetturi.
O Saint Vincenzu, who is lu great pinitenti, who is lu veru ‘nnuccenti, amatu of Jesus. “
(“St. Vincent is a great saint and loved so much by God.
An angel descended from God in love.
The flame of love St. Vincent the protector.
O Saint Vincent who is the great penitent, he who is the true innocent, loved by Jesus.”)
Thanks to the feast of San Vincenzo Ferreri, the town of Calamonaci is known throughout Sicily and therefore known and appreciated internationally.
Not only for the party and the pyrotechnic games (self-financed by the citizens), but also for the welcome reserved for tourists and the city decor.