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Annual Running of the Saints

A new tradition

St. Anne Catholic Church, located in Logan Heights, minutes from downtown San Diego, will celebrate its decades-old annual fiesta Saturday and Sunday, July 21 and 22. The fiesta is like typical church festivals with food, games and entertainment. But this fiesta revolves around the Running of the Saints, a religious procession dating from the twelfth century in Gubbio, Italy. The Running takes place at 3:00 pm Sunday, July 22.

The procession or running involves two 40-man teams that run the neighborhood streets carrying 300-pound biers bearing six-foot pedestals crowned with statues of St. Anne and St. Michael the Archangel. The challenge of the Running is buttressing the weight of the bier evenly while rotating men in and out of position. No more than ten men are hoisting the platforms at any given time, so the pace the men keep requires coordination to keep the two saints securely upright.

Pastor Father Carl Gismondi, FSSP, is quick to point out that while the men run at a decent pace, the Running is not a race. “There is no winner and there is no getting around it, the biers are heavy. It’s a lot of fun, but there is penance involved – joyful penance. Public processions are essential to our Catholic faith, because a procession not only wins grace for ourselves, but it is also a way to sanctify the neighborhood and the city.”

Visitors are invited to start their Sunday at St. Anne’s 11:00AM Solemn High Mass where the St. Anne Schola and guest choir will sing full Gregorian propers in the soaring Missa de Sancta Ana by Franco-Flemish Renaissance composer Pierre de la Rue (1452-1518).

Video of the Running can be seen here.

See St. Anne’s website for directions.


Posted Tuesday, July 03, 2012 12:54 AM By Central Valley
Look at the graces the FSSP has brought to San Diego. Imagine what full communion with the SSPX could mean for the salvation of souls. If only California bishops were more open to traditional orders..........

Posted Tuesday, July 03, 2012 3:26 AM By Laura
Darn! Can't see the video. It won't play! Is it my accessing of the site or is there something wrong with the site? Thanks for looking into it.

Posted Tuesday, July 03, 2012 3:27 AM By Laura
Oh, sorry. Never mind. I exited out totally and then reclicked on your link and it works. Thanks!

Posted Tuesday, July 03, 2012 7:07 AM By max
beautiful tradition! (although i was initially concerned when i read about the "300-pound biers" thinking it was a german beverage...)

Posted Tuesday, July 03, 2012 7:31 AM By Life Lady
I highly recommend everyone who can to come to the fiesta. There is plenty of food, and clean fun for the children. Fr. Gismondi has been remodeling the sanctuary with pillars and we have a new window on the south-facing wall. The Mass will be incredibly beautiful, as the choir is always of the best singers, so, think about coming if you are in the area, or travel to San Diego and make it a weekend. Hope to see everyone there!

Posted Tuesday, July 03, 2012 8:27 AM By Laurette Elsberry
The 2010 video of this event brought me to tears. How beauiful it is. Perhaps what made me cry was the saints being carried in honor in contrast to the "gay pride" parades in San Diego, San Francisico and in practically every other major city where condoms and phallic symbols are honored and "worshipped". It won't be long before pervert politicians and their mentors and minions will have events like the "Running of the Saints" outlawed. The Running, however, is probably safe until after the election.

Posted Tuesday, July 03, 2012 11:21 AM By Dana
max, with your spelling reputation it's perfectly understandable. Oh, my, did you give me a good laugh! gasp. Thanks! This is an incredible I wish I lived close enough to watch the procedings and attend the mass. The music will be divine! I tried to interest my church in having just a little walk together from our church to a little park downtown and say the rosary, carrying our little Rosary banner. Everyone was so nonplussed. We just don't do that 'sort of thing' in these parts.If they had a display like this in our town, you'd have mass hysteria. (no pun intended)

Posted Tuesday, July 03, 2012 5:07 PM By Abeca Christian
This is a wonderful festival. This is one of the several parishes in which I attend.

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