History of the Marian shrine “Madonna dei Campi” (Our Lady of the Fields) and the first apparition:
In the 12th century in the fields to the west of Stezzano, about 2 km from the town center, a shrine was built in honor of the Mother of God. Most of the population was in fact devoted to farming and often during the working days, they stopped in prayer in this shrine. In the following century, in front of this shrine, the first apparition took place: the Madonna holding the Child Jesus appeared to a pious woman of the village. Following this prodigious event, the population built the first little church called “Madonna dei Campi” (Our Lady of the Fields). The years of construction of the church were part of a historical period characterized by important changes of a political, economic, cultural and religious nature.
Our Lady of Prayer and the second appearance:
On 12 July 1586, the Virgin again appeared to two peasants, Bartolomea Bucanelli of 10 years and Dorotea Battistoni of 11, to this small church located in the Stazzanese countryside. The small temple had risen above an ancient shrine of the 13th century following the apparition of the Madonna to a woman gathered in prayer. One of the frescoes of the church, depicting the Virgin holding Baby Jesus in her arms, began to exude water in the early summer of 1586. The phenomenon repeated itself with an interval of two or three days, but with such intensity as to flood the floor.
It is here that on the 12th of July that the two visionaries, intent on grazing their cows in the surrounding meadows, wanting to enter the small temple to pray, could not do so because the door was closed. Instead they began their prayers facing the windows having grilles, it was then that they saw a noble figure of a lady, dressed in black and with a very white veil that fell on her shoulders, and that she was reading a little book which she held in her hands. Naturally, the two girls spoke to their families. Several people, at different times, have seen the same beautiful woman praying, once on her knees and then in midair, or that she immediately disappears and then reappear later.
The episcopal investigation revealed the extraordinary nature of the events. The small church was transformed into a sanctuary in the late 1600s.
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