Madonna of the Lavina from Cerami (EN)

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Photographer: phSicily


The tradition, comforted by precise historical references in the manuscripts of the Pitrè, wants the Madonna to appear several times in a dream to one of the Benedictine nuns, who had meanwhile moved to the abbey attached to the Abbey, and invited her to report to ‘archpriest of the place to take care of the unearth from the ruins of the old monastery of a sacred image that represented it. The invitation was greeted with skepticism by the priest, and after the third apparition a torrential rain fell and from the ruins of the monastery the floating beam on which the picture of the Madonna was nailed floated. The next day a peasant, who crossed the place of the old monastery, noticed that his mule, knelt down on the spot where the sacred image lay beneath the mud and the mud. The farmer, amazed and impressed by the attitude of the animal, called together all those who worked nearby. We began to dig and, to the amazement of those present, we found the painting of the Madonna. Even today many of the country’s elders report the fact that the imprint of the mule’s hoof is impressed on the sacred icon found. As soon as the archpriest heard of the episode, shaken and repentant, he made the bells ring out in the distance and together with a large crowd of faithful he went to Lavina and with great devotion the sacred icon was collected. (In memory of this event, Cerami celebrates the Feast of the Meeting in May in which the Byzantine icon housed in the Abbey of St. Benedict, together with the simulacra of the Archangel Michael and St. Joseph, is carried in procession. The image was then called “Santa Maria di Lavina”, from the place of its discovery, in dialect “u lavinaru” which means torrent, for the waters that flowed there and still flow there. This gave rise to a title, not new but certainly rare at least for the district, under which to invoke the help of the Mother of God. Tradition tells us again that the discovery of the picture was crowned by some miraculous events: one of the best known tells of a certain Joseph, blind for thirteen years, who, as soon as the news of what had happened in Lavina, was led by relatives down there and kissed the Holy Image, he regained his sight.



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