Bottoniera of the 1923 eruption
IIn the night between 16 and 17 June 1923 “scassau a muntagna” Mount Etna opened at the height of Monte Nero at an altitude of 2000 meters, on the lateral side.
People of Linguaglossa
The inhabitants of Linguaglossa immediately understood the gravity of the eruption, in fact they witnessed the opening of a succession of craters “a buttunera” for hundreds of meters on the north-east side with strong lava emissions, and a strong explosive activity.
In fact think that the lava covered 11 km up to the gates of the town of Linguaglossa arriving to cut the state road that goes in the direction of Randazzo, and threatened two villages:
- Cerro, where the railway station was located;
- Catena, located right between Monte Santo and Monte Pomiciaro, also two old cones of scoriae and lapilli that are located above Linguaglossa.
National authorities in Linguaglossa in 1923
Even the high national authorities understood the seriousness of the eruption of 1923. Just think that already on the 19th of June the King of Italy Vittorio Emanuele III arrived in Linguaglossa to see what was happening, on the 20th of June the Prime Minister Benito Mussolini also arrived.
Saint Egidio and the miracle in 1923
The local people, seeing the seriousness of the eruption, began to invoke the patron saint Sant’Egidio, until they brought him in front of the station of “Cerro” to pray for a miracle.
But on June 21 the saint returned to the Mother Church to prevent some thief from stealing all the gold that had been donated by the citizens to the patron saint.
The end of the 1923 Etna eruption
On June 25 it was declared that the lava flow was losing strength and the lava was overlying and no longer descending to the valley so the village of Linguaglossa was no longer threatened.
The entire town then reunited in celebration to remember Sant’Egidio as the miraculous saint.
On July 18 the lava stopped finally after 32 days of continuous activity.