Our Lady of the Day (17 May) – Madonna dell’Ambro, Montefortino, Ascoli Piceno, Fermo, Italy
The so-called Lourdes of the Sibylline. “In May of the year 1000, the Blessed Virgin, surrounded by extraordinary splendor, appeared in this sacred rock, to the humble shepherdess Santina, who has been silent since birth. The girl obtained the gift of the word in recompense of the prayers and offerings of flowers … “
HISTORY OF THE APPARITION
The tradition, indefinable and crossed by legendary veins, traces the origins of the Sanctuary right up to the year 1000 and narrates the following:
“In May of the year 1000, the Blessed Virgin, surrounded by extraordinary splendor, appeared in this sacred rock to the humble shepherdess Santina, who has been silent since birth. The girl obtained the gift of the word in reward of the prayers and offerings of wild flowers that she made every day before the image of Our Lady, placed in the cavity of a beech tree “**
** (…. probably an oak taking into account the other similar apparitions of the Madonna and from what reported by the “Bulletin of the Committee for the construction of the rolling road)” for the Ambro – Year 1 – N. 1 – September 1998: “… high up, well placed against the trunk of an oak, stood the image of the Queen of Amber, to which those old branches served as pavilion … ) “.
The Sanctuary and its history
The Madonna dell’Ambro sanctuary in the Montefortino (AP) area, stands isolated in the mountains and takes its name from the nearby Ambro stream, a tributary of the Tenna.
Especially in summer, due to the beauty and suggestion of the place, there is a very strong influx of gypsies and pilgrims.
THE SMALL LOURDES OF THE SIBYLLINE
The Sanctuary is also called “the small Lourdes of the Sibylline” because it closely resembles the largest and most famous Sanctuary in France.
– Lourdes is located in a valley in the Pyrenees mountains; in Montfortino the Sanctuary is located in a valley of the Sibylline mountains.
– In Lourdes, a river flows alongside the Grotto of the Apparition: the Gave; in Montefortino next to the Sanctuary flows a river: the Amber from which it takes its name.
– In Lourdes, Our Lady appeared to a girl named Bernadette; also in Montefortino the seer is a girl who in this case is called Santina.
In addition, the rock that dominates the whole environment recreates the atmosphere of the cave where Mary appeared to Bernadette Soubirous.
The sanctuary, the portico and the bell tower are constructions of the twentieth century but the first news of the sanctuary dates back to 1037 when the local feudal lords, linked to the Benedictine Abbey of St. Anastasio, embellished it by donating some assets to the friars. In 1602 the shrine which became too small and damaged by the wear and tear of time, was rebuilt larger, but in the following year, the architect Venturi of Urbino began the construction of a new large church by incorporating the previous one so that the image of Our Lady, through a large window, appeared as an altarpiece of the main altar. It remains to this day the same features of the altar: the statue of Mary, a majestic in figure, carved in stone and seated on a throne, smiles from the grate above the altar. The old chapel is carpeted with hundreds of photos of children, families, women, men, black and white soldiers who thank the Mary for a grace.
Prayer to Our Lady of Ambro
Oh Virgin Mary, Our Lady of the Amber,
Queen of the Sibylline!
Friend of the humble, handmaid of the poor;
You who listen to the simple,
and accepts the gifts of the little ones,
hear this poor voice that invokes you with the sweet name of Mother.
Mother who sits Queen
and hold in your arms the one
who has conquered the world,
Among the lights and splendor of your throne,
I see your merciful eyes and I entrust myself to them.
Look at me, protect me, defend me.
Guide me, renew me, heal me.
I welcome you, Mary in my home,
In my life, in my anxieties, in my undertakings.
Be you my friend, my sister and my Mother;
And through your powerful intercession,
let God arise and his enemies scatter,
Turn evil away from my way
and that I may come one day where you are,
Mother of God and Queen of Heaven.
VIDEO PILGRIMAGE: (Audio in Italian, subtitle** in english is available)
** To activate auto-subtitle in English – (click to play the video, then click the icon to activate the subtitle -> then click the “Impostazione” or Settings icon () -> after which click the option “Sottotitoli(1) (subtitle) ” and then select the option “Traduzione automatico (automatic translation)” and then choose the language you want, for es. “English”)