The Manjerico of St. Anthony, an ornamental basil

Basilique manjerico de ça St Antoine

                                                A good luck charm and an original proof of love

The Manjerico is a good-luck basil. The plant is offered to loved ones at popular Saint’s times.

The popular saints are Anthony on June 13, John on June 24 and Peter on June 29.

At first glance it is not clear what brings the patron saints and basil together. However, it is especially the times that want this: the beautiful summer days ahead, the promises of good harvests and weddings.

Anthony, the patron saint of Lisbon, is a matchmaker. He is asked to find a husband or wife. That’s his primary function, to find. The keys, good fortune or beautiful love. And the manjerico, the basil, supports the request.

Guirlandes fêtes de juin Portugal

                                                A fragile and mysterious basil

The token of love is still very much alive. Even if the “quadras” hanging from the flower carnation sometimes planted in the pot tend to disappear. The quadras are quatrains of poetic verses addressed to the loved one.

In short, the manjerico, the decorative basil, is entirely in keeping with the role of the saints who oversee the happiness of the bride and groom.

Moreover, pagans and atheists are also attached to custom. It is supposed to bring good luck. This is an ancient tradition that already existed in Rome.

It is believed that the Romans introduced this custom of happiness and prosperity to Portugal during their occupation.

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St Antoine

                                              An ornamental comestible plant

With its small leaves and round bush shape, the manjerico is a lovely plant. It also has a captivating smell…

It is eaten, just like its big brother, the big-leaf basil.

It is said that one cannot touch the manjerico, and that one must feel it from a distance, so as not to wither it. It’s a hard-skinned myth.

However, the plant is fragile. It is recommended not to water it directly but to put water in the cup. And take the pot out of this cup at night.

In these conditions one can hope to keep it for a while. But no illusion, the manjerico is ephemeral and difficult to keep.

A bit like love says some people.

To know more about the feasts of Saint Anthony