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St. Benedict of San Fratello (Messina, Sicily): An Afro-Sicilian Hagionym on Three Continents

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St. Benedict of San Fratello (Messina, Sicily): An Afro-Sicilian Hagionym on Three Continents

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Title: St. Benedict of San Fratello (Messina, Sicily): An Afro-Sicilian Hagionym on Three Continents
Author: Dell’Aira, Alessandro
Abstract: Benedetto Manasseri da San Fratello (Messina, Sicily) became the first black canonical saint in 1807. The
Sicilian-born son of African parents (1524), was first a hermit, and then a lay friar of the reformed minor
order of St. Francis of Assisi. He died in Palermo in 1589. From the beginning of the 17th century his name
and cult was connected in Brazil to the Catholic Rosary, together with the name and cult of three other
black “saints”: Elesbão/Elisbão (from Abyssinia), Efigênia/Ifigênia (from Nubia), Antônio de
Noto/Categeró (an African hermit who died in 1550 in Sicily, as Benedict did). It would be interesting to
discuss the development of the four names in the Portuguese of Portugal and in the Portuguese of Brazil.
The subject of my paper is the different forms of the names of the first hagionyms on three Continents,
Europe, Africa and America: Benedetto da San Fratello (Italy), Benito de Palermo (Spain and Spanish
speaking countries in America), Benedito/ Bento (Portugal, Brazil, Angola), and Bieito (Galicia). It is very
interesting to notice the Portuguese development from Bento to Benedito in the first half of the 17th century,
and the influence of this change on the names of popes in Portuguese, including our present Pope, Benedict
XVI.
Subject: St. Benedict of Messina
Afro-Sicilian Hagionym
St. Benedict of San Fratello
Type: Article
Rights: The following articles are © 2009 with the individual authors. They are made available free of charge from this page as a service to the community under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivative Works license version 3.0. For full details go to http://creativecommons.org.licenses/ny-nd.3.0
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10315/3958
Published: York University
Citation: Proceedings of the 23rd International Congress of Onomastic Sciences
ISBN: 978-1-55014-521-2
Date: 2009

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