Every year, on the evening of July 23, the statue of Santa Cristina is carried in procession through the streets of the town of Bolsena from the church dedicated to her; the morning after the reverse journey is made.
Both the evening in the morning, along the path, in the main squares, are represented on previously set up stages, the so-called Mysteries of Santa Cristina.
Those are tableaux of people representing the characters of the story in fixed positions, without speaking, recalling the incidents of the martyrdom of the Saint, which occurred in the early IV century, during the last persecution of Diocletian in 305.

When Cristina chose the path of martyrdom was only twelve years old. Her mother belonged to the famous family Anicia and the father Urban was the prefect of Bolsena, who represented the interests of the Emperor in the city. The beauty of her face, the purity of mind, the grace of her bearing, the noble lineages and high rank, made Christina the most desiderable girl in Bolsena.

A convenient marriage, in which love for the groom was not absolutely necessary, was the future that parents had in mind for her. In vain, however, the young men from Bolsena would have expected a response to their insistent gaze, a yes to their tacit proposals; Cristina, in fact, had secretly promised to God and her heart, touched by baptism, was turned to the mysteries of faith and all unconditional love for Christ. Aware of the choice the girl walked the path of salvation and would unreservedly accepted martyrdom. The supreme sacrifice would make her worthy of the greatness of God.

The tragedy could not have been consumed if it had not intervened the evil character: Judas, the traitor, was the turning point in the sad story. To betray Christina was her dearest handmaiden who told the father about the conversion. For the Prefect of Bolsena the love for justice and law was stronger than any other feeling, and even if her daughter had not committed any crime that could be defined as such, she was marked with the soul sin. An irreconcilable conflict arose between father and daughter, so when Urban acting as a loving father begged Cristina to rebut the defamatory words, she confirmed everything. She was locked in a high and massive tower in the Martana island and would come out, according to the will of Urban, only if she had denied Christ.
At this point the legend begin to be wonder and mysterious ….

In Bolsena the “Mysteries” are staged each year for many centuries and, given their characteristics, have attracted the attention of the leading scholars of theater history, anthropology, folklore.
The pictures shown are always the same and are: the wheel, the furnace, the boiler, the lake, the hell, the rods, the snakes, the cut of the tongue, the arrows, the burial, and the glory. The tradition is deeply rooted in the minds of people from Bolsena, which run every year from more distant places of residence to participate and attend the “Mysteries” with great devotion and enthusiasm.

The entrance to the event is free, sponsored by the City of Bolsena and Tourist Information Office.