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Using the Saints as Part of the Italian Craft

By Vincent Russo

[Snip] The “Cult of the Saints”, describes a particular popular devotion or abandonment to a particular Saint or Saints. Although the term “worship” is sometimes used, it is intended in the old-sense meaning to honor or give respect. I like to use the term “veneration”. For Christians, the Saints are petitioned to help out in just about any matter that you can imagine. This is almost always done by devote Catholics in a Christian-religious manner, i.e. following the dictates and customs of the Catholic Church.

When the Streghe interact or petition the Saints or include the Cult of the Saints in their Stregoneria (magic as a system of practices), it takes on a different perspective. To an outsider, on the surface it may look very similar to what a Christian may do but it is only a gloss. The Saints become less specifically Christian “entities” and become more “cultural and community powers”. They are treated with the same reverence and respect as any other “spirit allies” that the Strega works with. In other words, the Streghe works with the Saints from a personal and cultural perspective, not a Christian dogmatic perspective.

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