Four Lady, Four Pilars in Four Cities
Lendinara (RO), Bresso (MI), Dovera (BG) and Sabbioni di Crema (CR) in each of these cities the Lady of Pilastrello manifested it with many devotions, wonders and even waters with miraculous properties …
OUR LADY OF LENDINARA (RO)
On the night of 9 May 1509, a thunderstorm destroyed the home of a wealthy landowner named Giovanni Borezzo. Only a 33 cm high wooden statue was saved, which depicted Our Lady and the Child, which the man had placed on the window sill. It was found intact on the branches of a hedge and blazing with light. Therefore, a tile was erected on which the miraculous image was placed.
Later, a chapel was built and it was discovered that a fountain, which flowed next to the pillar, was tinged with red whenever the masons used it: evidently, the water should have been used for purifications. The spring water was then channeled into a tub that became the “Bagno della Madonna” (the bath of Our Lady), where the sick came to ask for healing from their ailments.
The sanctuary was built in 1577-79 and enlarged in the XVIII century. The people of Polesine consider the image as the Lady of the Pillar – “Madonna del Pilastrello” – their ‘Black Madonna’ as it was created with an olive black wood. The current Sanctuary is entrusted to the care of the Olivetan Benedictine Monks.
Countless were the canvases and votive offerings. The chapel of the Bath, where the sick are immersed in miraculous water is a source of great devotion and frequent pilgrimages. Open every day of the year. Concerts and conferences are held periodically in the Basilica or monastery. The feast is celebrated on May 16th.
OUR LADY OF THE PILLAR OF BRESSO (MI)
Also in the city of Bresso, about 7 km from Milan, there is the Madonna del Pilastrello. There is no certain data, but an ancient inscription placed on the balustrade suggests that the homonymous Sanctuary dates back to 1400, as well as the painting placed above the altar depicting the Blessed Virgin of Grace with the Baby Jesus on her knees. Even Saint Charles Borromeo came to retire in prayer here in 1582.
One thing however is shared by Lendinara in Bresso, the miraculous work of Mary, in fact, is that here too she gave proof of her predilection and protection. “She sweated and cried with a great outpouring of tears” according to a historical testimony the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Grace sweated and cried on Holy Wednesday of April 12, 1514.
OUR LADY OF THE PILASTRELLO DI DOVERA (BG)
At the entrance of the village one can find the “Fountain of Our Lady”, so called because the piety of the inhabitants who come to draw water from it, had the image of Our Lady with the Child Jesus on her lap painted on a small pillar (Pilastrello). The water that flows clear from the source, digs around it a tiny stream that narrows to the left, forming a small ford. A good and poor hearing-impaired girl, with a paralyzed right hand, named Caterina usually goes to this source to draw water and to look after the few geese of the house that are wading in the ford,.
On May 14, 1386, a sunny and spring afternoon, Catherine comes to the source for her daily chores, and stops to pray in front of the image of Our Lady painted on the nearby pilastrello. A sudden glow shook her: on the other side of the stream, a noble Lady, beaming with light, asks her hand to cross the water. Catherine extends her arm, the Lady leans on it, miraculously gives her hand back and immediately disappears. The girl, full of wonder, runs to joyfully announce her recovery to her mother. In an instant she got her right hand back and the use of speech and hearing.
The news of the fact spread in a flash; the same evening a large crowd comes from Lodi to see the miracle of the Madonna. A chapel is immediately erected to protect the Pilastrello with the Image of the Madonna, and later a Church is erected, which still exists and is called “Chiesa dei Santoni” (Church of the Great Saints) for the two gigantic figures of Saint Christopher and Saint Anthony Abbot, painted on the facade, on the sides of the entrance door. A second minor church was built nearby, and rebuilt later, because it was found unsafe, in 1642, simply called “Santuarietto” (Little Sanctuary).
In the Marian Year 1954, on May 14, after a solemn procession, the statue of Our Lady is crowned with the golden crown donated by the faithful of Dovera, by the bishop of Lodi, Mons. Tarcisio Vincenzo Benedetti.
Madonna del Pilastrello of Sabbioni di Crema (CR)
The Sanctuary of the Madonna del Pilastrello, belonging to the Parish of Sabbioni, is located on the provincial road to Lodi. It was built to replace a pillar (hence the name “Pilastrello”) on which the image of the Blessed Virgin was depicted. The late sixteenth-century building was frescoed in the early 1600s by the well-known Cremasco painter Barbelli, who painted some scenes from the life of Mary and the childhood of Jesus.