Rome: Sanctuary of Our Lady of Divine Love
The history of this sanctuary dates back to the year 1740, when a man who was traveling to Rome was attacked by a pack of dogs and was about to be killed. Looking over at a tower in the town he saw an image of the Blessed Virgin Mary and he cried out to her for help. Suddenly the dogs stopped their attack and ran off.
As a result of this miracle, the image was moved from the tower to a nearby estate called “La Falconiana”, where a small church dedicated to St Mary ad Magos stood. A church was built a few years later on the site where the tower stood and the image was returned to the spot.
From that time on pilgrimages to the church took place regularly, especially every Saturday night between Easter and the end of October. These pilgrimages were on foot from Passeggiata Archelogica to the Shrine, a distance of about 10 miles.
These pilgrimages still take place today and you are welcome to participate. They start from Piazza di Porta Capena in Rome at midnight and take about 5 hours. Mass is celebrated upon arrival at the Sanctuary.
There are also several other pilgrimage dates: the Evenings of Pentecost, Feast of the Assumption (August 14), and the Immaculate Conception (December 7).
But the history of the image does not end there. In January 1944, as the allies were closing in on Rome, it was feared that the city might be destroyed in the fighting.
The image from the Shrine was brought in pilgrimage to various churches in the city. The last of these was the Church of Saint Ignatius on June 4th, the day that Rome was liberated.
A week later, on June 11th, Pope Pius XII went to the Sanctuary of Divine Love to pray and bestow the title “Saver of the City”.
More recently, Pope Francis brought the original statue of Our Lady of Fatima to the Sanctuary on October 13, 2013.
There is a full range of spiritual activities here, check on their website for details.
Finding the Sanctuary of Divine Love in Rome:
Address: Via del Santuario, 10, 00134 Roma, Italy
Click here for the official website of the Sanctuary of Divine Love