27 February 1955

Blessing of Cars

Renato Longo
Music by Guglielmo Pagnozzi

Naples, 27 February. Renato Longo films the blessing of the three 'caravels', as he names them in the titles. It would be wrong to think that the blessing of the car is a sporadic episode, perhaps only common in certain areas of Italy. On the contrary, it is a recurring rite in the family film, especially in the years when the car became an important, we would say fundamental and unavoidable, presence within the Italian family. Here is the text of the blessing (a religious tradition that continues to this day). The prayer is very reasonable, by no means abandoning the steering wheel to God's will.

"Almighty God, Creator of heaven and earth, who in your manifold wisdom has given mankind ingenuity and imagination to manufacture new means of transport, grant that the drivers of these machines, in the various paths of work or leisure, may always operate with skill and prudence for the safety and security of all, and may they feel your continual presence beside them."