A pious legend has it that Our Lady of Canneto appeared, in the so-called “Capodacqua” area, to a shepherdess named Silvana.
The girl was all intent on keeping her flock, when suddenly, among the green and the flowers of the meadow, appeared a white Lady, radiant with light and celestial beauty. At that enrapturing vision, the poor shepherd girl was left amazed and trembling.
But the beautiful lady reassured her and with a gentle smile told her: “Go to the archpriest of Settefrati and tell him that the Mother of God wants a church dedicated to her in this valley” and Our Lady gave her a letter.
“But – answered the girl – I cannot abandon the sheep and I have to lead them to the valley, to provide them water to drink, because here there is no water here …”. “Oh! … I will take care about the water – said the Lady – you go ‘and do’ what I told you …”. And She touched the rocky cliff lightly with Her fingers and immediately at the foot of the great boulder gushed crystal clear and fresh water. She then dropped the ring on Her finger in that water, which, upon touching the stones, was reduced to a very fine gold dust.
The water, they say, is the one that forms the river Melfa and the gold dust are the “stellucce” (star shaped objects), which until a few years ago shone at the fountain and which were passionately sought by pilgrims.
At that prodigy the shepherdess hastened to fulfill the heavenly mission. The few, who came on the spot after the first news, found the water source never seen before and in the middle of the rocks a wooden statue, in which the young shepherdess recognized the image of our Lady as seen by her.
Not wanting those mountain people to abandon it, they decided to take it to the village.
But after a short while, the statue began to get so heavy, that the porters were forced to place it against the rock, where, amid the wonder and fear of everyone, the statue left the imprint of the head imprinted on the rock wall. The cliff still exists to this day and is called “the Head of our Lady”.
Those first devotees then asked the Virgin a sign of Her will, indicating where She wanted to be carried. The statue was raised again, but it became so light, that the porters believed and understood that it should be brought back to the place of its discovery, that is, where the present Sanctuary rises.
Official Website: http://www.madonnadicanneto.it/sito/index.php/leggenda