The origins, and the meaning of this
impressive procession with the "Teoria dei Santi" procession are to
be found in 1783 when an earthquake razed to the ground the City of Polistena
and the people, may have wanted to resort to Santa Marina Virgin with the
intercession of all their saints.
The custom of carrying in procession, not only the Holy Patron, but all the statues of the saints venerated in the city, and preserved in the city churches, gave rise to the "theory", or "parade, long line of people, animals or things in motion ".
Since its origins, the impressive procession was celebrated on July 17, the day when it is venerated by the Catholic Church and which commemorates the translation of the body of the Saint to Venice. Since 1818 it was celebrated on the first Sunday after July 17 and following the first Sunday of August.
Because of internal quarrels with the Confraternities, on June 28, 1834,
the Bishop, forbade the procession with the “Teoria dei Santi” procession.
In 1835 the new statue of the Saint Patrona was built, the current one by Vincenzo Zaffiro, and the procession was with the Theory of the Saints in the morning.
In 1836 the permission to carry out the procession in the afternoon was obtained but, in the following years, it kept on thing place in the morning.
In 1846 there were new riots because the population wanted the procession to take place in the evening, while the religious wanted it to take place in the morning hours. Seeing the procession prohibited, the people entered the Church and carried the statues of the saints through the streets of the city.
The procession with the "Theory of the Saints" took place until the 1960s. It was resumed, in 1998, at the instigation of Archpriest Don Pino Demasi and the then Patron Feasts Committee composed of over 50 citizens.
Today, this ritual represents a reappropriation of its traditions, with a day of strong devotion, which finds its highest expression in the Procession of the 17 July, with the "Theory of Saints" composed of 26 Statues and the Relic of the Protectress , which opens with the four Confraternities and closes with the city band, the civil and religious authorities, followed by thousands of faithful.