Italian Word of the Day: Venerdì Santo (Good Friday)

Today’s word of the day is part of our Italian Easter Word series. Each day during the week leading up to Easter, we’ll post a word that is related to this special time of year. Enjoy! 🐰

Good Friday (known as Venerdì Santo in Italian) falls on the Friday before Easter. The Italian translation means Holy Friday.

IPA: /venerˈdi sàn·to/

On this day, Christians all over the world commemorate the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ (Gesù Cristo). In most practising countries including Italy, it is a day of fasting and penance for the faithful.

Il Venerdì Santo è il venerdì che precede la Pasqua cristiana.

Good Friday is the Friday that precedes the Christian Easter.

Because it is directly connected with Easter, the date on which Venerdì Santo falls changes each year. For example, this year it will take place on April 10th whereas last year, it was on April 19th.

Despite not being a national public holiday in Italy, many rituals take place on Good Friday, one of the most important being the 5 p.m. mass with the Pope at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. After mass, the traditional Via Crucis (Stations of the Cross) takes place, during which the Pope leads a candlelit procession along a path of 14 stations starting from the Colosseum. At each station, a brief prayer is offered to commemorate the passion and death of Jesus Christ.

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