About the Miracle of Our Lady of the Flowers in Bra:
On the evening of December 29, 1336, A young wife named Egidia Mathis, pregnant with her first child, was walking home. One of the pillars on the road was frescoed with a picture of the Blessed Virgin Mary with the Christ Child, and she came upon it, she spotted two mercenaries nearby. Egidia was frightened by their threatening glares and instinctively sensed the intent of these hired soldiers was to harm her. She ran to Our Lady pictured on the pillar — a Mother who gave birth to the Christ Child at this time of year — and pleaded for help.
A light shone from the pillar, as Our Lady appeared. As Mary looked at the foreign mercenaries and waved them off, they quickly ran away, frightened. Our Lady then smiled at Egidia and comforted her, one Mother to her child who was soon to be a mother herself — sooner than expected, in fact. The stress and emotional intensity of the scary situation caused the young woman to give birth to her baby immediately on the spot!
In addition to this apparition, the nearby hedgerow of leafless blackthorn bushes circling the area around the pillar—which had been covered in ice—burst into bloom, covered in thousands of white flowers.
Egidia ran home with her newborn child, excited to tell everyone what had just happened. She described the event to her husband, and he told their relative and friends; everyone shared the amazing story of the appearance of our Blessed Mother and of the miracle of the blackthorn bushes with their neighbors, and the whole town ran out to see the miracle of Madonna dei Fiori (Our Lady of the Flowers).
Every year since, the blackthorns at this same location flower between Dec. 25 and Jan. 15, contrary to any scientific explanations. Exceptionally rare exceptions were 1914 and 1939, the years both World Wars began, as if heaven were telling the world through the miraculous bushes that a winter of war was coming.
In addition, on three occasions, this winter flowering has extended for months, each time corresponding with rare public expositions of the Shroud of Turin.
The Sanctuary of Madonna dei Fiori:
The religious complex is made up by the Old Sanctuary, the New sanctuary and the House of the Spiritual Exercises. The Old Sanctuary was built in 1626, replacing the little chapel built in memory of the Apparition of the Virgin Mary to Egidia Mathis in December 1336.
The New Sanctuary was built in 1933 and contains a large painting of the apparition of the Virgin Mary by Piero delle Ceste.
Traveling to Bra:
The town is located about 27 miles south of Turin….there is frequent train service from Turin. Get train & bus schedules, flights, see fares & buy tickets here.
Address: Viale Madonna dei Fiori, 93, Bra (CN )
Tel: 0172 412046
email: [email protected]