Search accommodation

Number of persons

Home >
U Catenacciu in Sartene (Grand Valinco)

U Catenacciu in Sartene (Grand Valinco)


During your stay in Corsica you're dreaming of attending an emblematic world famous event? The Sartene Catenacciu in the Gulf of Valinco is the perfect event! Gîtes Corsica offer you the possibility of attending the Catenacciu of Sartene which is one of the most famous processions of Corsica with our holiday rentals located in the Valinco region

The best known and most striking of the Good Friday processions

U catenacciu at Sartene


At nightfall in Sartène around 9 pm, all the windows are lit up with candles, but in the streets a penitent in chains (u catenacciu), clothed in an alb and red hood, carries a heavy, solid oak cross on his shoulder. His right ankle is fettered and drags a 17 kilogram chain along the ground.


Penitent in red dress weighed down by the cross he carries On Porta Square, both doors of the Church of Sainte-Marie are thrown open to allow the procession through. The Penitent dressed in red burdened by his heavy cross, carries it a distance of 1.8 km. He is followed by a man in white and by 8 men in black. All tread the Way of the Cross barefoot, supported by members of the confraternity, and surrounded by crowds. The Way takes them through the steep, narrow streets of Sartene. 

In the image of Christ, U Catenacciu falls three times. Once before the Oratory of Saint Anne, the eighteenth century Parish Church of Sartene. As the Penitent lies on the ground, the whole city recites the Our Father and the Hail Mary. The scene is gripping.

The procession stops again inside the Church of Saint-Sebastian, where the Penitent prays on his knees before the altar.
After the third fall, the Penitents reach the forecourt of the parish church. A preacher takes the prayerful onlookers through the Way of the Cross, now re-enacted in expiation of sins, until all enter the Church of Saint Mary to pray.

Then U Catenacciu enters in turn, lays down the cross at the High Altar and prays, surrounded by all the other penitents. Kneeling or prostrate before the High Altar, the penitents must wait where they are, until all the pilgrims have kissed the fallen Christ figure.

U Catenacciu, Penitent shrouded in mystery

U Catenacciu is led back to the convent. Much later in the night, in order to avoid recognition, he returns home. It could be anywhere, village, open mountainside or prison... No-one will ever know who the Penitent is, with the exception of the priest. The number of volunteers is so great, that no-one knows who was finally picked for the honour of impersonating Jesus on his last journey.

Sign up to the newsletter

To be informed about our news and specials, leave us your email. By registering, you agree to receive the Gîtes de France Corse newsletter. For more information on our personal data protection policy click here