On Mount Partnenio before the advent of Christianity there is a pagan temple dedicated to the goddess of Cybele.
His priests practiced pagan rites and were castrated in his honor to be reborn to new life. Then they dressed in gaudy colors and wore heavy make-up. Some visitors mix this pagan side with the Christian candelora festival where songs and dances alternate with liturgical celebrations.
This creates confusion and does not do justice either to the pagan goddess or to the Madonna di Montevergine. Those who wanted to venerate a pagan goddess had to follow a few rules that included also refraining from the pleasure of meat and food, something that is often forgotten. The power of Our Lady and the meaning of the life of the Mother of God are certainly far superior to the gods.
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