Saint of the Notos

Santo di Noto
Auster, Ostro, Notos. There have been various names for this wind that blows from the south, hot and humid, harbinger of summer thunderstorms. This bearded saint, a martyr, stands on the southern transept of the Cathedral, behind St. Desiderius, protector of oaths. He is struck by the southern wind Auster, or Notos, as Greek sailors called it, believing it to be created by the son of Astraeus, the Titan god of the stars, and of Eos, the dawn, like all the compass winds. According to the ancient legends, which could often be heard in the taverns of ports, it originated in Ethiopia, in the heart of Africa, from where it carries its characteristic heat. Noto, the Italian name for the wind, is also the name of a Sicilian town, near the Ionian Sea, founded by the Sicels, later dominated by the Greeks and then by the Arabs, without ever changing its name, only the language spoken there. It seems that the name of the town has nothing to do with the wind, and yet, like the cardinal point Auster, it is in the south, in a land from which, already over half a century ago, many of today's Milanese citizens arrived. Someone always arrives from the south, sometimes bringing sunshine, sometimes rain, both essential for life.