In the afternoon of June 10, 1576, the day before the Solemnity of Pentecost, a terrible hailstorm devastated the Casalbordino countryside. A farmer named Alessandro Muzio, the following day, went to his field to check the damage. Reciting the rosary he heared the bell of the parish church of Casalbordino ringing for the consecration of the Sacred Host in the festive Mass of Pentecost.
Kneeling out of devotion, he saw the Blessed Virgin Mary appear before him in a blazing light, reassuring him about the conditions of his field,
but she also warned him that the hailstorm was a divine punishment because of the sins of men and asks to urge the parish priest to invite parishioners to respect the third commandment, which is for the sanctification of the festive day.
When Our Lady vanished Alessandro noticed that where she appeared the ground was dry. The documentation of the event is kept in the parish archive of Pollutri.
The authenticity of the apparition was acknowledged immediately thanks to the numerous miracles that accompanied it, so much so that it was initially defined as “Most Holy Mother of Miracles”, then later as “Saint Mary of the Miracles” and finally “Our Lady of the Miracles”. Even the place where the Virgin had appeared, its name was changed from “Pian del Lago” to that of “Miracles”.
A chapel was built on the site of the apparition, but the influx of pilgrims was such that it had to be enlarged, until it became a real sanctuary. The image placed on the main altar is the authentic image painted immediately after the apparition.
Since the sanctuary did not have a stable spiritual assistance since the apparition of the Virgin, it was entrusted to the Benedictine monks in 1925, together with the construction of the adjacent monastery.
The current iconography shows Our Lady of the Miracles seated above an oak tree, surrounded by light, in the act of admonishing the old devotee, kneeling at the foot of the tree.
The whole scene is immersed in an agricultural landscape, so much so that even the representation constitutes an identifying element of the devotion expressed above all by the rural classes.
Every 11th June the sanctuary is a destination for pilgrimages that coming from Abruzzo, Molise and Puglia. Still today, some pilgrims, especially to implore or thank Our Lady for a benefit received, leave their ex-votos in the sanctuary’s rich stipe, just as some are still exposed in the side chapels.
PRAYER TO THE LADY OF THE MIRACLE OF CASALBORDINO
Mary, Mother of the humble and poor,
turn upon the gaze of Your maternal tenderness
and cover us with the mantle of Your mercy.
In you the earth and the heavens met
in the miracle of the incarnate Love of God.
By your intercession and your example
let the miracle be realized in us:
of the faith that welcomes,
of the love he gives,
of the hope that enlightens our days.
You, the Shrine of the Trice Holy God,
help us to be a living temple
of the glory of the Father,
in the imitation of the Son,
by the power of the Spirit,
who covered You with His shadow
to dwell in us, children in Your Son,
now and at the hour of our death.
VIDEO PILGRIMAGE: (audio in italian)
Ufficial Website: http://www.miracoli.abruzzo.it/