Maria SS. della Cava
An image of the Madonna of the Cave in Pietraperzia, Sicily.
The text at the top of the shrine reads: ‘In every need run to Most Holy Mary of the Cave’. At the bottom it says: ‘Principal Patron of Pietraperzia. Miraculously discovered in 1223 by a sleepwalking mute, who received his speech’.
Madre Pietà dei Massari
The Sorrowful Mother of Massari in Trapani, Sicily. The painting is covered with ex votos and the Arma Christi, or Instruments of the Passion.
During Holy Week the image is carried around the city in procession. Watch a video of last month’s procession here.
(Source: Flickr / faber79)
Maria SS. di Gibbilmanna
The miraculous statue of Our Lady of Gibbilmanna in the diocese of Palermo, Sicily.
On Easter Sunday 1534 a boat carrying the statue took refuge from a storm near the village of Castello di Roccella. Legend has it that Mary appeared to a Capuchin friar who lived in Gibilmanna, telling him to fetch the statue and build a shrine. The statue was loaded onto a wagon pulled by oxen. At a certain point the oxen refused to move any further. At this spot a shrine was erected for Mary.
Maria SS. di Custonaci
The miraculous image of the Madonna of Custonaci in Sicily. It is a depicting of Mary suckling Jesus.
The devotion of Our Lady of Custonaci dates back to end of the sixteenth century. It is said that one night a ship bearing the painting got caught in a terrible storm. After calling on the Madonna the storm miraculously stopped. When the ship safely reached the shore the sailors decided to build a shrine for Mary out of gratitude.
The miraculous event is commemorated at the end of August every year, when a procession of boats takes places. The following day the Madonna is carried through the city, of which she is the patroness.