La macchina di Santa Rosa consiste in una torre illuminata da fiaccole e luci elettriche, realizzata in metalli leggeri e in materiali moderni quali la vetroresina (che hanno sostituito da diversi anni il ferro, il legno e la cartapesta), alta circa trenta metri e pesante cinque tonnellate che la sera del 3 settembre viene sollevata e portata a spalla da un centinaio di robusti uomini detti "Facchini" lungo un percorso di poco più di un chilometro articolato in vie, talvolta molto strette e piazze del centro cittadino, tra ali di folla in delirio con l'animo sospeso tra emozione, gioia e anche un certo timore.
Ma ogni descrizione riportata sulla carta o in video è pressoché inutile in quanto nulla può rendere l'idea se non assistere dal vivo al trasporto delle macchine di santa rosa,sempre capace di suscitare sensazioni nuove seppur nella ripetitività dell'evento che si compie ogni anno.
Le origini della Macchina risalgono agli anni successivi al 1258, quando, per ricordare la traslazione del corpo di S. Rosa dalla Chiesa di S. Maria in Poggio al Santuario a lei dedicato, avvenuta il 4 settembre per volere del papa Alessandro IV, si volle ripetere quella processione trasportando un'immagine o una statua della Santa illuminata su un baldacchino, che assunse nei secoli dimensioni sempre più colossali. Il modello attuale è nuovo (dal 2009) e si chiama "Fiore del Cielo" .
Il 3 settembre è una giornata tutta particolare per i viterbesi (ma anche per le moltitudini di turisti incuriositi che la manifestazione attira in massa ogni anno, sempre in numero maggiore), molti dei quali scendono in strada fin dalla mattina, ma lo è ancora di più per i facchini, gli "eroi per un giorno" che dal 1978 sono riuniti in sodalizio e si fregiano del titolo di Cavalieri di S. Rosa e che trasportano da sempre le varie macchine.
Dopo il pranzo essi, vestiti nella tradizionale divisa bianca con fascia rossa alla vita (il bianco simboleggia la purezza di spirito della patrona, il rosso i cardinali che nel 1258 traslarono il suo corpo), si recano in Comune dove ricevono i saluti delle autorità cittadine, poi vanno in visita a sette chiese del centro, infine in ritiro al convento dei cappuccini, dove il capofacchino impartisce loro le ultime indicazioni sul trasporto. Verso le 20, i Facchini preceduti da una banda musicale che intona il loro inno, partendo dal Santuario di Santa Rosa percorrono a ritroso il tragitto della Macchina, acclamati dalla folla, fino a raggiungere la Chiesa di S. Sisto, presso Porta Romana, accanto alla "mossa".
Qui viene impartita loro dal vescovo la cosiddetta benedizione in articulo mortis, che prende in considerazione eventuali incidenti e pericoli.
Le varie categorie di facchini, vale a dire i "ciuffi" (dal caratteristico nome del copricapo in cuoio che protegge la nuca agli uomini posizionati nelle nove file interiori), le"spallette" e le "stanghette" (i facchini occupanti le file esterne, rispettivamente laterali e anteriori e posteriori), vanno a prendere posto sotto le travi alla base della Macchina ed ai fatidici ordini del capofacchino "Sotto col ciuffo e fermi!", "Sollevate e fermi!" e quindi "Per Santa Rosa, avanti!" iniziano il difficile percorso.
Dopo cinque soste, i facchini devono compiere il grande sforzo finale: percorrere una ripida via in salita che conduce al Santuario. Viene effettuata quasi a passo di corsa, con l'aiuto di corde anteriori in aggiunta e di travi dette "leve" che spingono posteriormente. Quando la gigantesca torcia splendente è posata sui cavalletti di sostegno è stato compiuto un altro trasporto: è il trionfo di un'intera città. I volti dei facchini fino ad allora tesi e angosciati per la fatica del loro atto di devozione diventano sorridenti e commossi per la felicità. La Macchina di Santa Rosa rimane esposta per alcuni giorni successivi al 3 settembre, mentre l'urna dove è custodito il corpo della Patrona è visitata da migliaia di fedeli.
Rosa was born in Viterbo in the year 1233, the historical context within which the young opera Santa sees the Emperor Frederick II undertook to gain control of Viterbo at the expense of the Papal States, so at that time the streets of the city shall provide the backdrop to bloody fighting between rival factions (Guelphs and Ghibellines), with sieges, armies and treaties of peace is not respected.
Rosa's parents, Catherine and John, have humble beginnings and educate the child with love and respect of God, following the teachings of St. Francis of Assisi.
The house where the young Santa lives with his parents is located near the Monastery of Poor Clares, where Rosa tries to get in, but coming from a poor family, this is denied, then decided to operate through the streets of Viterbo as a tertiary, leading a life of penance and charity toward the poor and the sick. Rose openly professes peace wandering the streets of the city, with the crucifix and other signs of piety.
This is his way of preaching, in a time where bitter fighting raged between opposing political factions, divided the minds of citizens, the Emperor decided to ban it with all his family.
Rosa lives in exile first in Soriano nel Cimino, and then returned to Viterbo Vitorchiano and only after the death of Frederick II (1250).Rosa was born with a rare and severe physical malformation characterized by complete absence of the sternum, replaced by the fibrous nature of a large plate; disease now known as "total agenesis of the sternum" which usually leads the subject to an early death within the first three years of life , because the skeleton is unable to support the body, the young Saint, however, died in 1251 at the age of 18 years.
Is buried in the earth of the cemetery of his parish of Santa Maria in Poggio Crocetta said today. From that day were many and continuous miracles obtained by the faithful who have gathered to pray on his grave: healings from blindness, from falling, from serious diseases. In 1252, after about 18 months after his death, given the large influx of poor people on his tomb and the growing clamor for the wonders and miracles obtained by the faithful, clergy and city officials are asking the Pope Innocent IV to promote the process of canonization of Rosa. The Pope agrees and orders the exhumation of the body by arranging for the prior inspection and canonical, according to the custom of the time: the Body of Santa appears miraculously incorrupt and even the roses with which he was crowned at his death, fresh, and then decided profumate.Vieneto give it more honorable burial in the church of Santa Maria in Poggio where he remained for six years. In 1254 Pope Alexander IV, no longer feeling safe in Rome, the scene of riots between the various families fighting for dominance in the area, decided to move the Papal See in Rome, which realizes in 1257. After some time from his dreams come Rosa three times. In these visions the young Santa tells the Pope to transfer his body to the nearby Monastery of Poor Clares, where life had vainly asked to be able to enter. On September 4, 1258, after the third appearance, the Pope, realizing that the figure who dreamed and talked to him and Rose was really considering the extraordinary event, accompanied by the Cardinals in a solemn procession, moved the body incorrupt in Pink nearby Church of the Poor Clares, entrusting to them the care and devotion.
The body of the young saint is enclosed in a precious urn with a door opening so that the faithful can kiss his hand. In 1357 due to a fall candle, a fire broke out inside the chapel where is kept the young Saint, the urn is completely consumed by flames, as well as the robes of pink and all documents and ornaments that are stored there , but his body remains absolutely unscathed, only blackened.After more than 750 years after his death, calling into the beautiful sanctuary, dedicated to Santa Rosa, you can see it, because his precious body, guarded with loving care by the nuns of the Monastery is still incorrupt, are well preserved the Sacred Heart, theinternal organs, muscles, and skeleton with all bones in anatomical connection. The Viterbo, his devoted countrymen, honored each year since 1258 away their beloved Rosa, with the celebrations that unite people and authorities in a single voice and a unique sense of faith.
THE TRANSPORTATION OF THE MACHINE OF SANTA ROSA:
The machine consists of a Santa Rosa tower lit by torches and electric lights, made of light metal and modern materials such as fiberglass (which replaced a number of years the iron, wood and papier mache), about thirty feet high and heavy five tons on the evening of September 3 is lifted and carried on shoulders by a hundred strong men known as "Porters" along a path of just over one kilometer in structured ways, sometimes very narrow streets of the city center, among the crowd delirious with suspense between emotion, joy and even a certain fear.
But every description on paper or on video is almost useless because nothing can make your mind if you do watch the live transport of cars santa rosa, always able to arouse new feelings even in the repetition of the event which takes place every year .
The origins of the machine back to the years subsequent to 1258, when, to commemorate the transfer of the body of S. By the Church of St. Rose Maria Poggio in the sanctuary dedicated to her, took place Sept. 4 at the behest of Pope Alexander IV, it was decided to repeat the procession carrying a statue or a picture of Santa on a lighted canopy, which took for ever more colossal scale. The current model is new (since 2009) and is called "Flower of Heaven."
On 3 September is a very special day for Viterbo (but for the multitudes of curious tourists that the event attracts mass every year, always more), many of whom take to the streets since morning, but it is even more for the porters, the "heroes for a day" since 1978 in partnership together and bear the title of Knights of St. Rosa and always carrying the various machines.
After lunch they, dressed in traditional white uniform with red sash to life (the white symbolizes the purity of the spirit of the patron, the red of the cardinals in 1258 traslarono his body), go to town where they receive the greetings of the city authorities Then go visit the seven churches in the center, then in retreat at the convent of the Capuchins, where capofacchino give them the latest information on transportation. At about 20, Facchini preceded by a band that sings their anthem, starting from the Sanctuary of Santa Rosa traverse back through the route of the machine, cheered by the crowd, until you reach the Church of St. Sisto, near Porta Romana, close to the "movement".
Here is imparted to them by the so-called bishop blessing in danger of death, which takes into consideration possible accidents and dangers.
The various categories of porters, namely the "tufts" (the characteristic name of the leather hat that protects the neck to the men placed in the inner nine rows), the "shoulders" and "temples" (the carriers occupying the outer rows , respectively, side and front and rear), are to take place under the beams at the base of the machine and the fateful orders capofacchino "Under crested and firm!", "Lift and firm!" and then "For Santa Rosa, forward!" begin the difficult path.
After five stops, the porters have to take the big final effort: to climb a steep path that leads uphill to the shrine. Is made almost at a run, with the aid of strings in addition to front and beams called "levers" that push the rear. When the giant glowing torch is placed on support stands was taken another transport: the triumph of an entire city. The faces of the porters hitherto tense and anxious with the fatigue of their act of devotion, and moved to become smiling happiness. The machine of Santa Rosa is exposed for a few days after September 3, while the urn which houses the body of the patron is visited by thousands of faithful.