At Corona, a “hamlet” of Massa d’Albe, on the slopes of Mount Velino, there is the small Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Lightning (Madonna del Fulmine). Massa d’Albe is an Italian town of 1,473 inhabitants in the province of L’Aquila in Abruzzo. It is located in the area natural regional park of Sirente – Velino.
The municipality includes the town of Massa and the hamlets of Albe and Forme. Alba Fucens is an important archaeological site located a few kilometers from the municipal capital. The Fonte Capo la Maina pass connects the town to Ovindoli and the ski resorts of Mount Magnola.
On June 8, 1795, at about half-past three in the afternoon, while no rain was expected, suddenly a cloud appeared on the horizon which immediately enlarged and melted in a calm drizzle which, without being preceded by others, unexpectedly a strong sound of thunder was heard and a lightning fall immediately on the parish church.
This happened in a truly prodigious circumstances. In fact, as we read in the report sent by the parish priest to the diocesan bishop, the thunderbolt, to which followed a sudden return calm, without touching the bell tower to which it should have been attracted by the metal of the bells and crossing it, did not cause damage and did not hit the parish priest and the sacristan intent on their duties. It only dropped a canvas from a wall in the baptistery depicting St. John the Baptist, crumbled the plaster behind it and discovered a frescoed image of the Our Lady holding the divine Son with her left arm in the act of blessing.
The fresco of the now crowned Madonna del Fulmine, dates back to the second half of the 1400s, which initially was the image of S. Maria patron of the abbey which gave rise to the name of the village Santa Maria da Corona, later indicated in a more short in Corona.
The echo of such a portentous event spread quickly and, for months and months, devotees of all Marisica rushed to venerate the image of the Virgin miraculously put in sight by the significant lightning. Not a few graces increased their faith: obtained through the intercession of the Mother of Christ. A luxurious altar was immediately dedicated to her in the church of Massa-Corona, where the faithful continue to flow.
The first centenary of such an auspicious event was, in 1895, solemnized with rich celebrations of which vivid memory remains. The small sanctuary was rebuilt in the 1920s following the 1915 earthquake. It consists of a main and a lateral nave. The façade is made up of a main body with a tympanum and a lateral one with a horizontal course with a hole system consisting of two doors with a stone frame.
The annual festival, to which many foreigners participate, is held in the municipality of Massa D’Albe on June 8 and the sacred hymn is sung in the Church:
“Hail, star of the sea. Exalted mother of God
And always Virgo, happy gateway to heaven.
Welcoming that “Ave” from Gabriele’s mouth,
give us peace, changing the fame of Eve.
Release the bonds of the guilty,
give light to the blind,
drive away our evils, give us all good.
Show yourself Mother of all, offer our prayers,
May Christ welcome them benignly, he who made himself your Son.
Virgin holy of among many, sweet Queen of heaven,
make your children innocent, humble and pure of heart.
Give us days of peace, watch over our path,
let us see your Son, full of joy in heaven.
Praise be to God the Father, glory to the Lord Christ,
and to the Holy Spirit only honor to the Holy Trinity.
General emotion pervades the soul of the onlookers when, intoning the verse: “Monstra te esse matrem” (Show yourself Mother of all), the curtain is brought down: which, behind the window, covers the venerated image, which then appears more than never suggestive. The festive celebration ends late at night on the following day.
(sito nel fase di revisione) http://www.terremarsicane.it/madonna-del-fulmine/;