A beautifully dressed little old lady, wearing a black and white dress, her hair impeccably coifed, as if she were headed to church, came marching down my dusty street this Sunday morning. I was watering some plants. She carried a large bread basket in one hand and tongs in another.
She was merrily stopping by each house distributing a piece of her home-baked bread with a cross on it. She carried herself with the air and authority of the local priest. It was almost as if she were handing out oversized communion wafers. As she handed me mine, I felt an urge to make the sign of the cross and genuflect. I asked if I could take a photo. She insisted I could not. Too bad, because she was one of the most beautiful images of Sicily.
I called my wife, Sicilian-born. She immediately asked if a donation would be appropriate. The sweet lady explained that it was not as the day was St. Anthony’s Day and she had asked St. Anthony for an intercession and he had answered her prayer. This was a promised good deed of thanks.
A lovely treat to make us all pause from our day to think of God and religion and love and needs — and neighbors. Bellisima.