Sunday, 24 July 2016

Marian shrines

You can't travel very far in Italy without seeing shrines to the Blessed Virgin Mary. This post gives two extreme examples of such shrines, both only kilometres from us.

The Sanctuario della Madonna di Mongiovino is an amazing structure built rapidly in about 1525 to accommodate the growing number of people who wished to make a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Mongiovino. 

Today an Italian man with no English enthusuastically told us at great length the story of the miracles that occurred at this place, so my explanation is solely dependent on my comprehension of his words. As I understand it the Madonna appeared to a shepherdess named Andreana, later the shepherdess went to Mary with a jug on her head and the water flowed freely from the jug. Obviously I have missed some point but suffice to say that many miracles occurred after that ... large quantities of bread, something about a veil and the breeze. The frescoes around the walls depict these miracles and no doubt told the story to the early followers far better than my limited interpretation today.

The Sanctuary was extensively restored for the Millenium so is in very good order for a building of this age. This year it also has been designated as a place for a Porta Sanctae - a Holy Door.

At the rear of the church is the well and the roadside shrine.

                                This says ' Well where Maria spoke to the shepherdess' 

On the other extreme there are small roadside shrines all about the place. This one is at the intersection at Pineta, only a couple of kilometres from us. This is a very tricky collection of roads and it seems appropriate to me that a shrine is placed there. The intercession of the B. V. Mary could well be called upon to cross here safely.

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