Tuesday after Easter

Madonna delle Grazie, Spezzano Albanese, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy

Around 1470, Albanians settled this area in the toe of the Italian boot. The town of Spezzano with its Sanctuary of Our Lady of Graces overlooks the plain below. The story goes that one day, when the village was still young, two Albanian boys were pasturing pigs near a waterfall. When one of them went to fill his jug at the falls, he saw the Madonna and Child surrounded by light. He called to his buddy, and together they admired the beautiful, still Madonna, wondering if she were of plaster or flesh. To settle the question, one of them prodded her with a stick, producing an effusion of blood that hit his face, blinding him. When he begged her pardon, she healed him, asking him to tell the priest that she wanted a chapel there. Enlarged and renovated over the centuries, the church built at Our Lady's request became a Diocesan Sanctuary, an official place of pilgrimage, in 1951. Behind the altar is a statue made of lime, clay, straw, and stones -- a seated Madonna with the Child on her right knee, probably of the 1300s. The festa of Our Lady of Graces begins on Easter. On Monday there is a blessing of tractors, a Byzantine mass, and a midnight mass. On Tuesday, the main feast day, the archbishop says the solemn mass, people carry the statue through the streets on their shoulders, and after a concluding mass, there is a display of fireworks. (Information and picture from the sanctuary's site, www.santuari.it/spezzano.)   

Also commemorated this date:

bulletAll-Holy Lady of Assinou, Nikitari, Nicosia, Cyprus
bulletNotre Dame de l'Epine, Teloché, Sarthe, Pays de la Loire, France (Our Lady of the Thorn). Pilgrimage to chapel.
bulletVimarotissa, Vatopedi Monastery, Mt. Athos, Macedonia, Greece (Queen of the Altar)
bulletAwesome Protection, Koutloumousiou Monastery, Mt. Athos, Macedonia, Greece. Icon processes to Church of the Prototon.
bulletPanagia Kakaviotissa, Zemata, Thanos, Lemnos, Greece. Icon returns to mountaintop chapel.
bulletL'Incoronata, Spello, Perugia, Umbria (Crowned Madonna). Festa.
bulletMadonna di Monte Camera, Gualdo Tadino, Perugia, Umbria, Italy
bulletMadonna della Liberata, Petritoli, Fermo, Marche, Italy
bulletMadonna della Costa, Fontana Liri, Frosinone, Latium Italy
bulletMadonna d'Appari, L'Aquila, Abruzzo, Italy, Paganica district
bulletMadonna della Vittoria, Termoli, Campobasso, Molise, Italy 
bulletMadonna del Belvedere, Carovigno, Brindisi, Apulia, Italy. Procession, music, fireworks.
bulletMadonna della Grotella, Copertino, Lecce, Apulia, Italy
bulletMadonna di Loreto, Surbo, Lecce, Apulia, Italy
bulletMadonna delle Grazie, Vernole, Lecce, Apulia, Italy, Strudà district. Festa: procession, fireworks.
bulletSanta Maria del Monte Serico, Genzano di Lucania, Potenza, Basilicata, Italy
bulletMadonna della Consolazione, Dasà, Vibo Valentia, Catanzaro, Calabria, Italy. 'Ncrinata, pageant of Mary meeting risen Jesus.
bulletMadonna delle Grazie, Palazzo Adriano, Palermo, Sicily, Italy
bulletIveron Mother of God on the Pasture, Moscow, Russia
bulletNosa Señora dos Remedios de Lira, Carnota, La Coruña, Galicia, Spain
bulletSanta María la Real, Pamplona, Navarra, Spain (St. Mary the Royal). Fiesta commemorates cathedral dedication.
bulletNuestra Señora del Pueyo, Belchite, Zaragoza, Aragon, Spain
bulletNuestra Señora del Vilar, Blanes, Gerona, Catalonia, Spain
bulletNuestra Señora de Sequeros, Zarza la Mayor, Cáceres, Extremadura, Spain. Romería; mass, procession, blessing of fields.
bulletNuestra Señora del Campo, Aliseda, Cáceres, Extremadura, Spain (Our Lady of the Field). Fiesta. Romería 1st Sun. Oct.
bulletNuestra Señora de Torrealba, Torremocha, Cáceres, Extremadura, Spain

Where We Walked ~~~ Mary Ann Daly