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Reggio Emiliana, Italy (April 29, 1596)


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Beata Vergine della Ghiara

It has ancient origins in Reggio Emilia in Reggio devotion to Our Lady. And it 'feels the same cathedral, which has the title of "Santa Maria Assunta." Numerous throughout the diocese are the churches and oratories dedicated to the Virgin, not to mention the sacred shrines and majesty '. Even today, then, are visible on private houses paintings, ceramics, pottery representatives of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Documented and 'well as the presence of various Marian confraternities.

"The miraculous image"

In 1569 a devoted citizen cheese, Ludovico Pratissoli, made ??by the famous painter Lelio Orsi perform a drawing depicting the Virgin and Child. In fact, on the wall of the garden of the Fathers of the Servants of Mary, present in Reggio Emilia since 1313, was an old picture - which has become illegible - depicting the Blessed Virgin. In 1573 the same Pratissoli instructed the painter Giovanni Bianchi cheese, Bertone said, to translate the design Orsi fresco on the Canton de 'Servi, that' on the wall of the garden. Today a memory marble commemorates the place where the painting was located, since this was solemnly translated in the church. In 1595 Julia Tagliavini obtained custody of the Image became frequent destination of devotees in the meantime had been resected from the wall and carried by a small chapel built with the offerings of the faithful.

"The First Miracle"

On April 29, 1596 took place the First Miracle: the intercession of the Blessed Virgin, before whose image was praying, a young seventeen year old named Marchino, a native of Castelnuovo ne 'Monti - location' Reggiano Apennines - dumb from birth, obtained the word. The miraculous event caused a remarkable concurrence of the faithful. They also began the pilgrimages of the brotherhoods.

"The approval of the Pope"

Bishop Claudio Rangoni instructed the canonical process with care, and the deeds were sent to Pope Clement VIII, who approved the miracle, as appears from a letter of July 29, 1596 the Sacred Congregation of Rites, in which were also authorized pilgrimages.

"Miracles multiply"

A few days later, on May 5, Fivizzano (Massa) Margaret called "the Caugliana" infirmity eighteen years, and forced to lie in bed, healed after invoking the Madonna di Reggio. There are several miracles obtained through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin of Ghiara consisting in regaining speech and hearing, "makes the deaf hear and the mute speak" (Mark 7:37), including: fourteen year old Andrea di Castelnuovo Sotto, mute the birth (28 May 1596), the Carpi Santa de Marchi, deaf and dumb from birth (15 August 1596). Of these miracles, like many others, there are claims in the canonical processes, in authoritative documents and prints. Other miracles relate to the following miracles: the blind see (Mt 11:5), the dead are raised (Matt. 11:5), the lame walk (Mt 11:5). Particularly relevant and 'that miracles are frequently children or youths.
Various miracles exist in a temple in the great iconographic documentation "paintings of miracles" performed a short distance of time. Particular was the protection afforded to the city 'by Our Lady invoked under the title of "Our Lady of Ghiara" during the plague of 1630. Such protection pote 'also enjoy the nearby town' of Modena to Our Lady of Reggio I raise 'the very valuable "Church of the Vow."
Our Lady of Ghiara was invoked even in occasions of magnet 'natural, such as the massive earthquake of 1832.

Did not fail even during the Second World War the benign protection of the Virgin of Ghiara the city of Reggio Emilia.
In fact, April 15, 1945 the Bishop Eduardo Britons rose up in the Temple a solemn "vow of holy city 'of Reggio and suburbs to the Blessed Virgin of Ghiara for protection and comfort in imminent danger, for the offenses of the front and for the violence of the civil discord. " It consisted in committing to seven years the solemn, like a holiday, the Feast of the First Miracle (April 29) and to raise the workers' quarters in one of the suburbs, without a church, a temple dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary with votive the title of "Regina Pacis". The city 'was spared, and the vote was respected and in the '50s the church was built. A perennial memory of the event and 'assured by a Latin inscription in marble monument located on the right side of the Temple of Ghiara place where it had been painted by Bertone, the painting of the Virgin and Child.

Historical Perspectives edited by Giuseppe Rossi Adriano

April 29, 1596

Popular devotion to erect pylons and temples along the roads and at the crossroads, depicting the Virgin Mary in various forms, is at the origin of the Sanctuary of the Madonna della Ghiara. Giovanni de 'Bianchi said Bertone from Reggio, painted in 1573, on one of these pillars, the image of Our Lady, to replace another picture, faded and corroded by time. The design is provided by a good artist of the school of Correggio, Lelio Orsi, and represents the Virgin seated on a rock, in a lonely place, at the foot of a mountain covered with green vegetation, bent, hands clasped in prayerful prayer to the Child, also sitting on a pillow, with open arms and smiling gaze towards the Mother. The fresco is located on the boundary wall of the garden of the monastery of the Servite Fathers, housed in the old gravel bed of the stream Crostolo deflected beyond the walls of the city walls from the distant 1200s. Hence the name given to Image: Our Lady of Ghiara or gravel.

The beautiful and devout image attracts the devotion of the faithful who come every day to pray and supplicate many of the Madonna that is sensitive to the demands with many thanks, and soon you feel the need to erect a small chapel to protect the image from the weather and to facilitate the inflow of devotees. On April 9, 1596 the fresco, detached from the wall, is carried in procession to the chapel built in the precincts of the monastery of the Servite. On the 29th of the same month shall be the first dazzling miracle that opens the series of many other favors granted by Our Lady of Ghiara, and that marks the beginning of construction of the magnificent Sanctuary, one of the most outstanding monuments of Baroque Emilian.

Marchino, a boy of 16 years, lost his father and mother, living in Reggio at the couple holding him as a child, is completely deaf and dumb from birth, even without the language. His insistence to Our Lady is to be able to hear and to speak as his other companions. On April 14 of that year, on Easter Sunday, Marchino, accompanied by Mrs. Catherine, wife of Sebastian Cyan, begins a pilgrimage to Loreto, where he returns from April 25, the feast of St. Mark, after a visit to Our Lady of Piratello Imola. In Loreto Marchino has a premonition clear that Madonna would heal him. (1) On April 29, on Monday, the second Sunday after Easter, is in front of the image of the Madonna della Ghiara, and prays fervently from the heart, because it can not do so with the mouth. All of a sudden feel a warmth in his members exuberant and warns check something unusual in her mouth and invade the palate. Beside himself with joy, crying with a loud voice, three times, Jesus, Mary!

The news that Marchino, without tongue in his mouth from birth, deaf and dumb, in front of the Madonna has spoken and still speaks, his tongue in his mouth and hears everything, as if it had never been dumb and deaf, it spreads like wildfire the city and sends everyone into a frenzy of love, all run by Our Lady. In the following days other healings occur, the enthusiasm of the faithful reaching for the stars. It immediately began a formal process in the presence of theologians, jurists and doctors, to verify the authenticity of the facts. A month later, on May 30, Marchino is in front of the Inquisitor of Parma who questions him on every detail. The original manuscript of the interrogation is located in the archives of the Curia Bishop of Parma, and other important manuscripts on the subject are kept in the Temple of the Blessed Virgin of Ghiara (string LXXXVI - fasc. 29), a copy of the pleadings on the miracle of marchino is preserved in the State Archives of Reggio, and there is reason to believe that it is faithful.
After the canonical process, the Bishop of it immediately sends the documents to Pope Clement VIII, who does meet the S.Congregazione of Rites, by letter of 22 July 1596 the Consultants of the Congregation of Rites "... I am of the opinion that not only the said divotione them, or frequency of the people, should be tolerated, but that we can help with some et allow public demonstration ... ". The original of the rescript, signed by Cardinal Paleotto, is in the archives of the Curia of Parma.
The multiplication of the facts prodigious and approval by Rome, promote devotion and pilgrimages of the faithful, so that the following year, June 6, 1597, was solemnly laid the first stone of the sanctuary will be built and designed by 'architect Alessandro Balbi Ferrara. The plan of the temple is a Greek cross, with the exception of the west arm, slightly elongated to accommodate the choir; elegant and majestic is the dome that rises above a nice cornice, adorned with several rows of pillars, and the whole interior stucco and gilding.
On May 12, 1619 is transferred in solemn procession, the image of the Virgin. At the head of the procession walks a devout Capuchin Fra Angelo is Mary, the small Marchino which was consecrated to the Virgin Mary in religious life, in recognition of the recovery obtained.

Don Mario Morra SDB (S alesian D on B osco)

The Blessed Virgin of Ghiara. Fresco by Giovanni Bianchi said Bertone (1573),

1 Charles Lindner, The Madonna of Ghiara (Reggio Emilia, AGE Publishing 1954); Short description of the Temple of B.Vergine Ghiara in Reggio (Parma, Rossi-Ubaldi 1822).




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