The Three Saints
Glorious Martyrs of our Faith, we exult with holy joy calling to mind the immortal triumphs which you brought about in fiercest torments. And we exult the more at the thought of you being our defenders in life and our protectors at death. Deign, from heaven where you sit midst the splendor of infinite light, to cast your merciful glances upon us and make us worthy of your protection. Heal us from all sicknesses, but above all, heal us from leprosy of sin and enkindle in our souls a burning charity which will have as its reward eternal life. Amen.
Alfio, Filadelfo and Cirino were three brothers born in the third century in the town of Vaste, in the province of Lecce located in southeastern Italy to a noble and Christian family. Alfio was the oldest, followed by Filadelfo and finally Cirino, the youngest of the three.
They were arrested by Roman soldiers and taken to Rome where the Imperial Court tried to make them denounce their faith. Unsuccessful, the Romans sent them to Tertullo, the governor of Sicily in the city of Lentini.
The Brothers and soldiers traveled from Rome to Messina, Sicily and then marched south through Sicily. Along the way the Three Brothers and soldiers stopped and rested in the town of Trecastagni in early September 252.
Once in Lentini, they were beaten and cruelly tortured by Tertullo’s soldiers trying to make them deny their Faith, but they remained steadfast.
After months of torture, Tertullo became furious and ordered his soldiers to produce the final instruments of death if they refused to worship the pagan gods.
On May 10th in the year 253, the Brothers were martyred in Lentini and received the palm and crown of martyrdom. The Romans tied 22 year old Alfio to a post and tore out his tongue as he was the most outspoken of the three. Filadelfo, 21 years old, was burned on a gridiron and Cirino, only 19, was thrown into a cauldron of boiling oil.
But the story does not end there. It’s just the beginning. During their lifetime and after their death, numerous miracles have occurred which are attributed to the intercession of the Saints.
Since the 1500s, the people of Trecastagni have held a grand Festa each May 10th and in early September in honor of the Three Saints who stopped and rested there.
Early 20th century immigrants from Trecastagni who settled in Lawrence brought their faith and tradition of the Saints with them and established the Feast in 1921.
Today, The Saints Alfio, Filadelfo & Cirino Society maintains this faith and tradition in its charitable works and the annual Feast of the Three Saints.