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str. 377-390

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Research into the beliefs in saints, protectors in popular devoutness of Krasno were conducted during 2004 and 2005 and they show different needs in which people from Krasno were asking for help from the saints. A special place amongst those saints is Saint Elias who is related to bad weather and some of his attributes make him quite different from other saints. While other saints are mostly described as protectors and good, Saint Elias is described as a very potent saint who is vindictive and in his rage he can use his weapon – thunder and he can kill a man. Saint Elias is called Elias of Thunder. Some people believe that the Elias’s thunders are God’s messages, or the punishment for sins. The people from Krasno believe that Elias is a dangerous saint who threatens with thunder and lightning and therefore they avoid working in the field with hay on the Day of Saint Elias to avoid his thunder and damage, which he can cause. The same banning of work with hay is also applicable for the next two days after the Day of Saint Elias, which are the days of Saint Daniel and Saint Mary Magdalene (so called ‘Mary of Fire’). The people from Krasno call these collective ‘Fire Days’. When they speak about the banning of work with hay, people also mention the cases of fire in their own or somebody else’s bad experience. These bad experiences are primarily the reasons for respecting the work ban on these days.
Although in the beliefs and perceptions about Saint Elias can be recognised in Biblical motifs of his life, we can also recognise some additional parts of the story, which are not Christian. These are the parts of the story taken from pre-Slavic beliefs, which contains the theme of a pagan god of thunder, which through the centuries have been included into Christian stories. The people follow the established church calendar but their celebration is independent and unlimited by the church.
It would be expected that people go to church to pray and give some offerings to the Saint in order to please him with ordinary Christian practice. However, this practice is not present amongst people from Krasno and they do not remember that it was ever practiced. Many of them try to stop bad weather with a special ritual, which they perform at home when the bad weather starts. They take a branch blessed in the church on Palm Sunday and make a cross with it. To stop bad weather, people also used to throw a stool with three legs to the front yard of their house. The stool had to fall with its legs up. The ritual was accompanied with a prayer of Unity, which contains Christian motifs. The prayer had to be without interruption and or mistake. The people from Krasno use the blessed branch against bad weather and the power of prayer, which they say during the ritual, is more in the way of its performance than in the words and Christian motifs.
The described procedure, perceptions and beliefs about Saint Elias represent a specific relation of the people from Krasno towards sanctity. Here the teaching of the church is overlapping with their non-Christian tradition, which creates a separate cultural quality of their Christianity.

Ključne riječi

bad weather; Krasno; popular devouutness; Saint Elias

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