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Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Star

What to see in Montefalco, Perugia, Umbria


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the first traces of a church in this place dedicated to San Bartolomeo Apostolo, date back to 1525, but in 1832 fell as a result of a violent earthquake. Saved Only a fresco: a Madonna with Child by Paul Botulli from Percanestro (disciple of Perugino). Despite the insistence to rebuild a place of worship, the parish could not tackle economically the project.

In 1862, a child of just 5 years, who played near the ruins of the church of San Bartolomeo, sustained to have seen the Virgin Mary. The child was called Federico (Righetto Cionchi). To him, the Virgin, according to the facts reported before it would be manifested by calling them by name, then it would have caressed on the head, then would have turned simple words: "Righetto, be good!". The boy came home, told the mother of having seen a "beautiful lady" and their dialog. The little sister Rosa, who was with him during the games told, on the contrary, not to have seen no lady. The mamma forbade Righetto to go again at the ruins without his permission, but he continued to report more apparitions to the mother. It was she, unconsciously, trusting the thing to a friend, to generate so much attention on his son, that soon became the object of questions and requests from people wishing to attend an apparition. The friend, in fact, commented saying that "...the children are loved from heaven". The news of these apparitions spread rapidly and overcame even regional boundaries. A significant contribution to the diffusion of news came from the testimonies of alleged thanks and miracles received from the part of the faithful who were attending the church.

Proceeded so the construction of a new and larger sanctuary, whose works were financed by subsidies of the faithful. The church was dedicated to Mary Auxilium Christianorum (Mary Help of Christians). Hereinafter, a new earthquake (1878) devastated the church just built, but with the contributions of many devotees and Pope Leo XIII the opera was restored quickly. The Sanctuary, inaugurated in 1884, is dedicated to Mary Auxilium Christianorum. In the neoclassical style, with sections baroccheggianti, species in the bell-dome. The Latin Cross interior is in travertine stone covered with stucco, a sort of plaster with marble appearance. Above the altar there is the fresco by Paolo Bontulli of the ancient church.

The Marian shrine is a place of pilgrimage and the patronal feast is fixed on 8 September. Throughout the day the small country is invaded by stalls and faithful, in the evening small exhibitions of singers of the place gladden the loops until midnight, when the fireworks put an end to the celebrations.

  • Religious location

Montefalco

Montefalco

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