May 2

Madonna della Croce, Pietranico, Pescara, Abruzzo, Italy

On March 25, 1613, Annunciation Day, a farmer named Domenico del Biondo was walking through the Cross Quarter of Pietranico on his way to inspect his crops, when a woman in starry white appeared to him. She asked for the restoration of a shrine, then disappeared into it. This was the Queen of the Heavens, according to an inscription on the oratory built there in 1618. In March of 1675, a marauding horde of military deserters sacked and plundered the town. When they threatened to return that spring, citizens prayed to Our Lady of the Cross, and on May 2 declared the town spared. Pietranico celebrates the Madonna of the Cross on May 3, formerly the Catholic Feast of the Holy Cross, which was probably the patronal festa of the Cross Quarter before the apparition. On the night before, May 2, people light hundreds of bonfires in and around the town, so that the whole area appears to be on fire as the 1600s statue of the Madonna parades through it. On May 3, the statue goes in procession from the parish church to the rural oratory.   

Sources:

bullet“Festa della Madonna della Croce,” Eventi Feste, www.eventiesagre.it
bulletMaurizio65, photo taken May 4, 2008 (detail), "madonna della croce4," Flickr - Photo Sharing!, www.flickr.com
bulletGiovanni Corrieri, "Oratorio di S. Maria della Croce a Pietranico," In Abruzzo, numero 0, gennaio - marzo 2005, www.inabruzzo.it
bullet"Scheda Barocco prescelta," Abruzzo Cultura - Provincia di Pescara, www.regione.abruzzo.it/xcultura
bulletPro Loco Pietranico, "Pietranico," Abruzzo, itinerario, www.viagginrete-it.it

Also commemorated this date:

bulletVirgen de la Libranza, San Martín, El Sauce, San Luis, Argentina
bulletOnze-Lieve-Vrouw van Gaverland, Beveren, East Flanders, Flanders, Belgium. New chapel consecrated, 1864. 
bulletNotre-Dame de la Colombe, Hélécine, Walloon Brabant, Wallonia, Belgium, Linsmeau village (Our Lady of the Dove). Stolen statue, found in Germany & renovated, returned to its chapel, 1976. Procession Aug. 15.
bulletRainha do Rosário e da Paz, Itapiranga, Amazonas, Brazil (Queen of the Rosary and of Peace). First apparition, 1994.
bulletNotre-Dame de l'Assomption, Rouen, Seine-Maritime, Normandy, France. Cathedral restored after WWII reopened, 1956.
bulletNotre-Dame de Lourdes, Pourrain, Yonne, Burgundy, France. Grotto blessed, 1954.
bulletMária, Papd, Tolna, Southern Transdanubia, Hungary. Rebuilt chapel dedicated, 1931. Pilgrimage Sept. 8.
bulletGua Maria Lourdes, Poh Sarang, Semen, Kediri, East Java, Indonesia. Grotto dedicated, 1999.
bulletSanta Maria al Romituzzo, Poggibonsi, Siena, Tuscany, Italy. Copy of painting crowned, 1926.
bulletSanta Maria di Casarlano, Sorrento, Napoli, Campania, Italy. Church consecrated, 1516. Festa August 15.
bulletSanta Maria Assunta, Scigliano, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy. Church consecrated, 1610. Festa August 15.
bulletVirgen de la Luz, "La Santuca," Cabezón de Liébana, Liébana, Cantabria, Spain (Virgin of Light). Procession.
bulletVirgen de Mora, Alba del Campo, Teruel, Aragon, Spain
 

Where We Walked ~~~ Mary Ann Daly