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The Church of St. Lussorio

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THE CHURCH OF ST. LUSSORIO

This is the country church closest to the town of Baunei, just three kilometres below of the village, not far from the small village of Ardali, in the municipality of Triei. Easily accessible from Baunei via the Usuonu road, the small church of St. Lussorio, built in the seventeenth century, has a curious history.

Nowadays, the festival it celebrates in honour of the holy soldier, whom tradition says was martyred near Cagliari in 304 AD, at the time of Emperor Diocletian, is held in the first week of September, but up until the 1960s it was celebrated on 22 August. In Baunei it was called “sa festa de us pippìus” (“the children's festival”) because on the day of the celebrations, all the children in the village in the country reach the church on foot, running at breakneck speed along the dirt road. According to secular tradition, the “obreri” (the organiser in charge of the festivities) had the right to cultivate the land around the church during the year in question. The candidates for the obreria book their turn in ample time directly with the village priest. According to some accounts by the elders of Baunei, in the past the organisation of the celebrations of St. Lussorio was reserved for engaged couples who had decided to get married within the year.

However, the tradition of celebrating St. Lussorio, although rooted in the centuries, was suddenly abandoned in the mid-sixties. This was probably because, at that time, the Baunesis did not approve of the reallocation of the land around the country church to the nearby town of Triei under Regional Law of 6 October 1959, enacted with the intent of increasing the agricultural productivity of certain villages on the island. It was as a result of this law that the small village of Ardali, until then a hamlet of Baunei, came under the jurisdiction of Triei.

Restored in the eighties, although moved to the first week of September, nowadays the festival of St. Lussorio is once more keenly felt by the entire population of Baunei. On the Saturday before the celebrations, there is a procession in which the statue of the saint is brought from Baunei to the country church, along the country road that leads from the Usuonu fountain.

On the Sunday morning, an evocative procession is held around the church of St. Lussorio. The celebrations continue until the evening, when the statue of the holy warrior returns to the town.

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