Where does the Celestinian Pardon Celebration come from?

Commissioned by Pope Celestine V: “To foster partnerships between local communities”


The Celestinian Pardon Celebration has its origins in a historic papal bull granted by Pope Celestine V with the aim of fostering partnerships between local communities in L’Aquila, this celebration encompasses a series of rituals since 1294 and was inscribed in 2019 on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.


These celebrations confer a strong sense of continuity and cultural identity to the whole community.

This celebration begins with the “Fire of Morrone” accompanied by the faithful carrying candles, travelling through twenty-three villages, lighting bonfires in each of them, while the mayors sign a parchment recalling the symbolic values of the Celestinian bull.

At the end of the festivities on 23 August, a thousand citizens dressed in traditional costumes and standard-bearers march to the sound of drums and bugles accompanying the Lady of the Bull, the Young Lord and the Lady of the Cross who symbolize the traditional values of the festivity: Hospitality, Solidarity and Peace.

Source: UNESCO