Photograph of the week: Undersea blessing at Villasimius, Sardinia

In this picture you can see the most amazing celebration of a mass in the world. Among these divers there is a priest praying in front of a Virgin Mary statue located 10 metres below sea level in Sardinia, along the seabed of Isola di Cavoli, a few kilometers off the coast of Villasimius. Sardinia is rich in folklore and to protect all fishermen who had to face the force of the sea and pray for the castaways, a statue of the Virgin Mary was placed on the bottom of the sea back in 1979.

Underwater blessing

Since then Villasimius went from being a little fishing village to a renowned holiday resort, but the traditional celebrations continue each year. Every third Sunday of July, an impressive ceremony takes place in Villasimius – a parade of boats covered with flowers reaches Isola di Cavoli from Villasimius harbour, and the priest lays a wreath at the foot of the statue and celebrates mass.

Thank you to Villasimius Tourism Association for permission to re-produce the image.

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