Church – Sanctuary of the Madonna del Pilone (Our Lady of the Pilar)
It was built in 1645 at the behest of Madam Royal Christine of France in memory of the miraculous rescue from the river of a child, occurred in 1644 by the image of the Virgin of the Annunciation found on a votive pillar. The painting became the object of widespread devotion and the church, with a façade crowned by a semicircular tympanum, was enlarged in 1779 and provided with a baptistery in 1807. Repeated refurbishments almost completely transformed the interior, with a single nave and two side chapels. and of the primitive decoration are preserved only the important stuccos attributed to Giovanni Andrea Casella and the frescoes of the dome of Bartolomeo Guidobono. On the high altar is the miraculous image of the Annunciata of 1587, almost completely repainted in the twentieth century restorations.
The Miracle of the Madonna del Pilone
We are in 1640 on the longest river in Italy … but Italy still did not exist politically. Many mills had sprung up along its banks, exploiting the power of its waters. On one of these mills, on April 29, 1644, Margherita Mollar went from the village called “new district”. He had a sack of flour with him to grind and accompanied her 11-year-old daughter with her.
The chronicle tells us that the mill, now disappeared, was traditionally called “chain mill”.
While the mother waited for the miller to return her flour, her daughter turned away from her to play without realizing that she was approaching dangerously to the banks of the river. It was already evening and the darkness was falling rapidly.
Suddenly Margherita hears a scream from her daughter, who no longer sees her, turning to look for her and realizing that she has fallen into the water where she was fumbling in the filthy waves. The first impetus of the mother was to kneel in despair before a votive pillar, built next to the mill in 1587, which depicted the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin. It was a matter of a moment: a light descended from the sky to illuminate the exact point where the daughter was at the mercy of the waters. The daughter was saved by some men who threw themselves into the river and could bring her back to shore … thanks to the light that allowed him to see her since it was already dark.
The news of the miracle immediately spread and after the miracle was ascertained by the investigators, It was officially approved and the people erected, in 1645, a church that became parish on March 2, 1807.
That painting of the Madonna is today behind the main altar in perennial memory of the event.
Other miracles occurred through the intercession of the Madonna del Pilone:
From the tablets inside the Church faithfully transcribed:
— Andreeta Pendigliona, a sinner who was shrunken and crippled on her limbs by the devil and miraculously healed by Maria Santissima, who appeared in this Shrine on March 20, 1651.
— Lorenzo Bertola and with his two sisters Caterina and Maria di Carignano, miserably crippled by the work of satan, are perfectly healed by Maria Santissima del Pilone on March 26, 1650.