Mount Figogna, Italy (Genoa area): Shrine of Our Lady of the Watch
The Story of Our Lady of the Watch:
About 15 miles north of Genoa lies the Shrine of Nostra Signora della Guardia, on the top of Mount Figogna (2,641 feet, 805 meters).
The story dates from August 29, 1490 when the Virgin Mary appeared to a local peasant and asked him to build a chapel on the mountain. Being a poor man, he told her that he would never be able to do such a thing. But the Virgin Mary replied with words that we hear often today: “Be not afraid”.
The man, Benedetto Pareto, said nothing of this to anyone at the time. but shortly thereafter he was seriously injured when he fell out of a tree. Again the Blessed Mother appeared to him, and he was miraculously healed. Convinced now that he should indeed build a chapel he did so with the few materials he had available. The result, as you can imagine, was a very simple building with a wooden roof.
About the Shrine of Our Lady of the Watch:
It was not long before pilgrims began to visit the site and a shrine was built here in 1528-530 by a local noble family. Eventually this was replaced by a newer shrine that was completed in 1889. A hospice for pilgrims was also built here.
The name guardian dates from an even earlier time when the view from here was used to warn of invading ships headed for nearby Genoa.
The Shrine is open daily from 7:30 a.m. until noon and then from 2:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. There are Masses daily at the shrine.
Traveling to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Watch:
The shrine is located about 10 miles northwest of Genoa. There is no train service from Genoa, but you can reach it by bus (youi can find schedules, fares, and buy tickets here)….and many choose to make the journey on foot as part of a pilgrimage.
Address: Piazza Santuario, 4 16014 – Ceranesi – GE Italy
GPS coordinates: 44° 29′ 16.3176” N, 8° 51′ 44.7336” E
Tel: +39 010 72351
e-mail: [email protected]
Click here for the official website of the Santuario della Guardia. (in Italian)
An interesting note: There also a small niche of N.S. della Guardia in the Vatican Gardens.