Imola, Italy: The Shrine of Our Lady of Piratello
The Story of Our Lady of Piratello:
Although this is one of those lesser-known shrines to Our Lady that can be found throughout Italy, it is one of the most significant in the country.
In the the spring of 1483 a pilgrim, Stephano Manganelli, was making his way from Cremona on to the Shrine of the Holy House in Loreto. As he made this journey, he stopped along the way at various shrines to light a candle to the Blessed Mother. On what was Holy Thursday that year, he came to Piratello, just a short distance from Imola and saw that there was a fresco of the Madonna and Child on a niche inside a small stone pillar.
The pilgrim retrieved a small candle from his sack and lit it, but when he reached to place his offering on a stone ledge of the niche, his hand slipped and the candle went out. As Manganelli righted it, the flame returned as if lit by itself. At that moment, the startled pilgrim heard a sweet voice carried on the chilly wind. It said, “I am the Immaculate Virgin Mary.”
Falling to his knees, he asked the Mother of God how he could serve her. She ordered him to go to the next town and tell the people to build her a shrine at Piratello. “If they don’t believe you,” the voice continued, “show them this.” Stephano Manganelli’s cape filled with roses, a flower that simply does not grow here in the cold spring weather.
This is highly reminiscent of the roses that came from the cape of Saint Juan Diego as Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared to him in 1531.
The Shrine was built as requested, and is a popular pilgrimage spot to this day.
Traveling to Imola:
Imola is about 20 miles Southeast of Bologna. There is train service to the town, and the station is less than one mile from the Shrine. Get train & bus schedules, see fares & buy tickets here.
Address: Via Emilia Ponente, 40026 Piratello BO, Italy
GPS coordinates: 44° 22′ 14.8116” N, 11° 40′ 11.4312” E
e-mail: [email protected]
Click here for the official website of the shrine of Our Lady of Piratello in Imola, Italy.