St. Anthony is celebrated on January 17th. The celebration in Campomarino has very ancient origins. People were truly fascinated by how the Saint could resist to temptations of the Devil during his retire in the desert. Among the many worship forms to the Saint, the traditional blessing of the animals disappeared due to their decrease in the farming and domestic life.
Once, the celebration of St. Anthony in Campomarino was announced by fires and popular songs, as well as by great lunches with beans and sagnetelle. The fires were often lighted near the church and blessed by the priest. People collected some embers from and brought them to their homes to implore no storms. Today, the traditional fire of St. Anthony is still used in some villages in inner Molise. It was surely old the custom of keeping the pork of St. Anthony: a small pig, offered or bought by the feast committee in a fair, was free to go around through the village, fed by the people with leftovers to be later auctioned and regain the money spent for the feast.
In the last years, the tradition of singing St. Anthony in the houses has been relaunched by Pasquale Di Giulio and the priest Don Elio Moretti, together with some friends and the youngs of the parish. While the songs of St. Anthony of other places like Termoli and Petacciato is more or less identical and refers to the Saint’s temptations, the one of Campomarino tells about the Carnival’s begin and the pig’s kill: January 17th, welcome the Carnival, happily welcome to cheer up all the people./ St. Anthony of the fortress I know you killed the pork and you can’t deny because I heard its scream./ St. Anthony of the fortress give me a piece of sausage and if you don’t want to give it to me, may it rot. Don’t cut a little little as the fire makes it smaller, don’t cut thinner thinner as it shrinks even thinner.
Until recently, some worshippers went around the neighborhood houses to distribute the bread of St. Anthony and the boiled broad beans. Moreover, it was usual to present a small piece of dark flour, with the bran for the animals to avoid them misfortune. Currently in Campomarino, on June 13th, even St. Anthony of Padua is celebrated. During his feast, the citizens take part with devotion at the Holy Mess and the procession through the streets. This day Campomarino is animated by markets, fireworks and music.