On this day: Apparition at Castelpetroso

by Gerelyn Hollingsworth

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On this day in 1888, "two countrywomen belonging to Pastine, a hamlet in the diocese of Bojano, in Southern Italy, were sent to look for some sheep that had strayed on a neighboring hill, to which Castelpetroso is the nearest village. One was named Famiana Cecchino, and the other Serafina Giovanna Valentino; the former being a spinster aged thirty-five, and the latter a married woman a little younger. Before long they returned home, crying, sobbing, trembling, and terrified.

"People naturally inquired into the cause of their emotion, and heard from these women that they had seen a light issuing from some fissures in the rocks; and when they approached nearer the spot they saw distinctly the image of the Addolorata--a lady, young, very beautiful, pale, with disheveled hair, and bleeding from the wounds received from seven swords."

The Apparitions and Shrines of Heaven's Bright Queen: In Legend, Poetry and History: From the Earliest Ages to the Present Time, Volume Four, compiled by William J. Walsh, T. J. Carey Company, New York, 1904, page 173.

As the weeks went by, more and more people saw "the Blessed Virgin under the form known as Our Lady of Mount Carmel; others saw her as Our Lady of Grace, others as Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary; but for the most part she appeared as Our Lady of Dolors. Generally, too, she was alone, but sometimes she was accompanied by St. Michael, sometimes by St. Anthony, sometimes by St. Sebastian, and sometimes by troops of angels. Among those who testified to these Apparitions was a well-known scoffer, who received the grace of seeing Our Lady four times in half-an-hour."

Others favored with visions of the Lady were the archpriests of Castelpetroso and Bojano, the bishop of Bojano, his "Vicar-General, and many other ecclesiastics".

A spring appeared, and there was a miraculous cure. In 1890, the cornerstone for the Santuario dell'Addolorata was laid. In March, 1995, Pope John Paul II visited the shrine.

Click here for a list and map of Marian Shrines in Italy. Scroll halfway down to Our Lady of Sorrows, in Castelpetroso, Italy (Santuario dell'Addolorata di Castelpetroso), Via San Rocco, Castelpetroso, Isernia, Italy.

Click here for a brief history of The Sanctuary of the Sorrowful Mother at Castelpetroso.

Many immigrants from Castelpetroso settled in Nutley, New Jersey. See the Holy Family Church bulletin: "Maria SS. Addolorata Mass: The annual Mass honoring Our Lady of Sorrows apparition in Castelpetroso on March 22, 1888, will be celebrated on Sunday, March 20, 1:30 P.M. (Italian)."

Click here for a video showing Pope John Paul II's visit to the Santuario dell'Addolorata.

Click here for a video showing the Santuario.

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