April 10

Madonna del Bosco, Alfonsine, Ravenna, Emilia Romagna, Italy

Devotion to the Madonna of the Woods goes back to April 10, 1714, when a falling branch killed a woodcutter in the forest of the Marquis Spetri. The forest overseer, Matthew Camerani, who witnessed the accident, took his wife's beloved plaque of the Virgin from their bedroom and posted it on a tree near the spot in commemoration. As people stopped there to pray, miracles of healing began to occur. Construction of a church there began in 1718. The Bishop of Cervia dedicated it to Maria Vergine della Neve (Virgin Mary of the Snow) on November 21, 1720. This church was demolished and a new one built in 1928. In August of 1944, bombs destroyed it, and Alfonsine was on the front line of battle from December until its liberation on April 10, 1945. The town celebrates its liberation festa on this date and the patronal celebration of Santa Maria on the feast of her Nativity, September 8. (Picture and information from "Santuario della Madonna del Bosco Alfonsine," Alfonsine più vicina alla Luna che alla Romagnawww.racine.ra.it/orione39; see also Maria Cecchetti, www.ceramichedevozionali.it.)

Also commemorated this date:

bulletBasilica of the Assumption, Jerusalem, Israel. Benedictine abbey church dedicated April 10, 1910, at site of Mary's dormition on Mt. Zion.
bulletSanta Maria delle Vergini, Macerata, Marche, Italy. Apparition, 1548.
bulletMother of God, Lipljan, Kosovo, Serbia. Icon wept, 2004.
bulletNuestra Señora Inmaculada Concepción, Minas, Lavalleja, Uruguay. Present temple dedicated April 10, 1892 on site of 1783 parish, now the cathedral.

Where We Walked ~~~ Mary Ann Daly