17. Feb, 2022
The Sanctuary of the " Madonna dei Rimedi " rises about one kilometer from the historic center of Pietralunga . The church, whose ancient construction dates back to the 7th century AD, with the name Pieve di Fuori , holds the distinction of being the only one in Italy to be consecrated to the " Madonna dei Remedi ". This title was conferred on the building when in the early 1500s, the image of the Virgin appeared to a group of girls and to some nuns of the Benedictine convent of S. Maria del Ponte. Following the miraculous event, towards the end of the 16th century the small parish church outside the walls was embellished and enlarged, becoming the center of an intense devotion of the Marian cult of Valtiberina. The history of the building is also linked to the cult of St. Francis: it is believed that the saint spent the night in this place on one of his pilgrimages from Assisi to La Verna .
Every September there is a procession from the Piazza, past my house and then a kilometre down to the sanctuary. Led by priests and carried along by plainsong, this gentle and pure affirmation of a strong and peaceful faith is utterly moving. The simplicity and directness is a thing of great beauty.