Home » A group of boys from Spataro discovering the Sanctuary of the Madonna dei Miracoli

A group of boys from Spataro discovering the Sanctuary of the Madonna dei Miracoli

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A group of boys from Spataro discovering the Sanctuary of the Madonna dei Miracoli

A group of fifth graders primary school “G. Spataro” Ic1 Vasto they experienced an interesting extracurricular activity by visiting the Sanctuary of the Madonna dei Miracoli to find out how it works Benedictine monastery, the characteristics of the sanctuary and its beautiful library. Accompanied by their parents and teachers Teresa Ottaviano, Alessandra Florio, Lidia Vallarolo and Rosaria Spagnuolo they had the guidance of Father Paolo Lemmewho with great enthusiasm explained to the attentive group the history of the Basilica and above all the history of Miracle of the Madonna occurred on 11 June 1576 to an elderly farmer from Pollutri, Alessandro Muzio. The apparition and then a series of miracles led immediately afterwards to the construction of the chapel and then in the following centuries of the sanctuary and the monastery. He explained how great the devotion towards the Madonna dei Miracoli is and that numerous pilgrimages from many regions of Italy take place throughout the year. On the occasion of the feast of the Madonna, even today there are pilgrims who arrive on foot from many countries with great devotion. Father Paolo then showed the children the ex-voto rooms, where numerous objects are kept, some very ancient, donated by many people who thus witnessed a miracle, a healing from illness and of the soul.

He explained that Benedictine monks have been there since 1925 to take care of the monastery following their ‘lege-ora-labora’ life program. Their day is very busy, they wake up at 5, and during the day they have many moments of prayer, the office of readings, lectio divina, lauds, mass, the sixth hour, the ninth hour, vespers , the rosary and many practical activities from administrative ones, cooking, the vegetable garden, domestic work, study, the parish, educational activities for youth, the library, preparation for the liturgy, welcoming guests, guiding of visiting groups, etc.

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He then accompanied the group to the two monastic libraries present in the sanctuary, the more modern one and the older one, an immense treasure, made up of over 70,000 textscoming from various donations and from other now closed monasteries, the most important of which, that of Santa Maria della Castagna in Genoa, a truly remarkable book heritage which includes mainly religious texts: manuscripts, some with the presence of illuminated letters, (also reproduced during laboratory activities in class by the students) two very large chorales, four incunabula, 421 sixteenth-century works, 614 seventeenth-century works and over 3,000 eighteenth-century works. Among the most important elements that Father Lemme showed were: a page from 1475 which is part of the one hundred copies of the Divine Comedy commissioned by Francesco di ser Nardo da Barberino, is a manuscript page of the twelfth canto of Paradise, found by chance on the back cover of a library text; some manuscripts, the plans of the project of the Royal Palace of Caserta of the Vanvitelli from 1700, a richly illustrated atlas from 1600.

The feedback received from both the students and parents present was joyful. “A beautiful opportunity”, commented the teacher Teresa Ottaviano, who organized the activity, “for our children, but also for us adults, which has marked a positive memory in the heart and an enrichment of the cultural baggage, religious as well as knowledge of our beautiful territory.”

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