First, he washes it in Holy Water and then prays over it. He then would gently rub the egg over the whole body of the affected person. For example, the Bendetto would rub the egg around the head and shoulders, down and up both sides of the body, under the arms, and along the centerline of the body, front and then back. Then he would apply the egg gently to the back of the neck, rolling it up to the base of the skull and down the spine in between the shoulder blades. The Bendetto would pay extra attention to any afflicted area, such as temples, eyes, etc.
During this procedure, the Bendetto steadily prayed to God to allow any negativity to be absorbed by the egg. When the practitioner was done, the egg was broken and flushed down the toilet, as this was a useful source of running water employed for disposing of unwanted wastes.
The practitioner will also rub the person's head with Holy Water in order to complete the blessing.
It is said the results of this healing method can be remarkable--especially if the pains are caused by some spiritual imbalance or problem.
Source: Vito Quattrocchi, Benedicaria--Magical Catholicism.
Myth's Notes: The use of egg in healings and cleansings in folk magic is very common. Another Italian family practioner Toni during a discussion on email@example.com on Monday, June 12, 2006:
Eggs in Latin communities (including Italian) have always been used for cleansing purposes. An egg can also be put next to your bed to draw any negativities that you feel may be coming your way. Keep the egg next to your bed for about a week - then crack it and throw it in a lake so that the waters will flow away from you, or bury it in the ground to stifle the negativity.Yes, the egg will go bad after sitting unrefrigerated for seven days. However as Toni also pointed out, "but your not going to eat it anyways so it doesn't matter." In many tradtional folklore practices, the egg is supposed to "go bad" and stink--which is why it is broken away from your home. The bad smell represents the negativity.
The Benedicaria healing method at the top of the page was also described on http://benedicaria.8m.com/intro.html The specific prayers suggested include the Apostles Creed, the Lord's Prayer, and three Ave Marias. According to the website: In Sicily the Roman Catholic Church does not endorse yet neither does she condemn the practice of Benedicaria. Most if not all practitioners are devout Roman Catholics and to even suggest to them that they are practicing some sort of pagan magic sends them into vehement denial.
Benedicaria (the "Craft of Blessings") is a form of southern Italian or Sicilian folk magic. It blends Catholicism and the "old ways" or folk traditions. The practitioners are known as Benedetti (plural), Bendetto (masculine singular), or Benedetta (feminine singular). The Benedetti call upon the aid of the Catholic saints and ancestral spirits. The Benedicaria traditions are passed from father to son, mother to daughter. Mothers who are born on September 15, the feast day of La Donna de Dolorosa, are especially blessed as healers or are said to have the healing touch.
According to Vito Quattrocchi, as woman is the nurturer who attends and cures the ills of family members, many practitioners of Benedicaria are Benedettas.
If you are interested in this form of Sicilian and Southern Italian folk magic, you may want to read:
Benedicaria--Magical Catholicism by Vito Quattrocchi
Benedicaria, folk magic of Southern Italy, is a combination of Roman Catholic tradition and ancient southern Italian folk magic. It includes , healing methods, how to remove the evil eye, how to remove a ghost from the house, novenas to the saints, and everyday blessings of the Sicilian and Southern Italian peasantry. 189 pages. Paperback book: $35.00, must be ordered from: http://www.lulu.com/content/155703 To contact the author, Vito Quattrocchi http://stores.lulu.com/vitoquattrocchi