Second Monday in September

marian calendar     september

Beata Vergine delle Grazie, Chieri, Torino, Piedmont, Italy

The bubonic plague that swept Europe in 1630 was especially deadly in northern Italy. The city of Turin lost over 70 percent of its population. The neighboring city of Chieri appointed a commission to control the epidemic. In the absence of reliable medical solutions, the commission's first action was to seek divine help, vowing on June 26 to build a chapel to the Blessed Virgin of  Graces in Chieri's main church, Santa Maria della Scala (St. Mary of the Stair). Chieri lost 40 percent of its population. The survivors built the chapel, where a wooden statue of the Madonna and Child by Piedmontese sculptor Pietro Botto was installed in 1642. The Blessed Virgin of Graces became the patron saint of Chieri, which celebrates her with a novena of special masses and prayers and a secular program of music, dancing, and food, culminating in her festa on the second Monday in September.   

Sources:

"Cappella Municipale della Beata Vergine delle Grazie," Duomo di Chieri, www.duomodichieri.com 
"Festa Patronale," Comune di Chieri, www.comune.chieri.to.it
"Madonna delle Grazie scippata," Corriere di Chieri, 12-12-12, www.corrierechieri.it (picture)

Also commemorated this date:

Virgen del Amparo, Valleruela de Pedraza, Segovia, Castilla, Spain (Virgin of Refuge). On the Monday after the second Sunday in September, traditional dancing accompanies the processional return of the Virgin's statue from the village to its rural chapel. 
 

Where We Walked ~~~ Mary Ann Daly