St James Exorcizing may have been commenced by Pizzolo, and completed by Mantegna.
It is significant that olive and willow should have been chosen for benediction together with, or as substitutes for palm, and that an exorcizing power should have been ascribed to the consecrated branches: they were to heal disease, ward off devils, protect the houses where they were set up against lightning and fire, and the fields where they were planted against hail and storms. But healing power had been ascribed to the olive in pagan antiquity, and in the same way the willow had from time immemorial been credited by the Teutonic peoples with the possession of protective qualities.
The Berbers, if irreligious, are very superstitious, never leaving their homes without exorcizing evil spirits, and have a good and evil interpretation for every day of the week.
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