Mary of the Day (July 26) – Madonna del Faggio, Castelluccio, Bologna, Emilia Romagna, Italy

The story goes that in 1672 the Blessed Virgin told a shepherd boy that she wished to be venerated at a certain place in the beech woods near Castelluccio in central Italy, whereupon the child discovered a terracotta Madonna affixed to one of the trees there. The 7 inch Madonna of the Beech was moved to a wayside shrine, and then, in 1722, to its own mountain sanctuary. Until 1964 a caretaker lived in the hermitage there. Since then a volunteer opens the chapel only in summer on Sundays. In 1975 the sacred image was stolen and replaced with a copy. Since 1756, an annual pilgrimage on Ascension Day brings the image to the town and back again, and on St. Anne’s day, July 26, a procession goes to the site of the beech tree, recently fallen.