6/8/07

MALOCCHIO!

The high cost of health care could be reduced somewhat if instead of rushing a child to the doctor every time the child feels ill , the parents would consider the possibility that “malocchio” was at work.

Among Italian immigrants malocchio or evil eye was something to be feared. Malocchio was caused by the bad thoughts of other people especially in respect to children . A child feeling ill was very possibly the result of someone having cast an evil eye upon the child. If one suspected that this was being done, the first line of defense was to point an index finger and small finger ( a. k. a. giving the horns) unobtrusively at the "looker" . If this did not ward off the malocchio it was time for more drastic action. Not a visit to an urgent care center but a visit to someone "possessing the power" to expunge the malocchio.. This individual, usually a female, would place a few drops of olive oil on the forehead of the infected person and incessantly rub the oil in the form of a cross while mumbling some unintelligible prayer. If she yawned a lot during the incantation the effects of the malocchio were being driven out. The poor child was usually scared out of its wits and after the treatment would announce a cure rather than submit to more incantations. The cost? Very reasonable - just a few coins.


(How did one acquire the powers to cure ailments due to malocchio? On the job training. My sister suffered frequently from malocchio. Since she was getting very familiar with the whole procedure of removing malocchio she was considered a prime candidate to learn the powers. As far as I know this never happened, although sometimes I wonder.)

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

My Grandmother always called 'the malocchio' (the proceedure to remove the evil eye)a blessing... first she put two utensils usually forks in the shape of a cross in a bowl of tap water. Making the sign of the cross over the forks and water speaking the trinity three times... then she would say a prayer that the malocchio upon an individual, a family, house... then put three drops of olive oil in the water... if the oil dispersed or roiled she would do it again blessing the water and three more drops of oil until they no longer dispersed or came together... once there were three round drops of oil she would either make the sign of the cross with the water on the persons forehead or flick the water around. This blessing is also done every year at midnight on Christmas eve and holy water sprinkled around each room in the house clearing any left over malocchio and cleared for the new year. She did it for new born babies... and would show me each time, but I cannot remember the words she used only the spirit of it's meaning - I believe...

Michele DeAugustinis said...

Yes I wish I also learned the prayer..something like evil eye to evil eye & the holes in the eye envy the cracks & eyes burst????

Stephen Stanziano said...

I need help. Desperately. Malocchio has ruined my life for the past 2 years. This past week was brutal. Hell.

Stephen in NJ