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La Madonna della Civita
By Anthony Parente
The Sanctuary of the Madonna della Civita is situated on the top of Mount Civita, which is located in the town of Itri in the province of Latina in the region of Lazio. The Sanctuary is one of the oldest in all of Italy. The Madonna holds a special place in my heart because of my family's devotion to her. Each year my family celebrates the feast of the Madonna by holding a special mass on the Sunday closest to her feast day, which is July 21.
The origin of the Sanctuary, transmitted from a document preserved in the archives of the parish, is very touching. A poor deaf-mute shepherd having lost a cow, found it kneeling at the feet of a great holm-oak tree. Looking up, he saw between the branches of a tree, a picture of Our Lady who seemed to smile at him. Instinctively he fell on his knees and instantly he regained his speech. Greatly moved, he eagerly descended the hill to relate with tears and trembling voice the vision. The people hearing the deaf-mute, and they all knew that he was a deaf-mute, ran to the place of the prodigy and they were all able to verify the vision.
With great respect and devotion the picture was removed from the holm-oak tree and carried in procession to the principal church of the village. The following day, to the great astonishment of all, the picture could not be found in the church, and without anyone having removed it, again it was found between the branches of the holm-oak on the Civita hill. The church authorities and the people then understood that the Virgin wished to be honored in the place where she had deigned to appear. A chapel was then built there and in 1492 the Bishop of Gaeta consecrated the first church that was to become the great Sanctuary of Civita.
|O Maria, Madre di Gesù Redentore e Madre della Chiesa, che in questo Santuario della Civita dispensi, con la tua materna intercessione, innumerevoli doni di grazie a quanti ricorrono a Te, accogli la mia fervida supplica.
A Te affido e abbandono il mio cuore e l'anima mia quanto sono e quanto raccolgo con il mio operare e il mio soffrire.
Rendimi saldo nella fede, incrollabile nella speranza, ardente nell'amore, generoso nel soffrire, abbandonato alla Volontà di Dio.
Fà di me un autentico figlio della Chiesa, un testimone del Vangelo nel mondo, uno strumento di salvezza per i fratelli.
Che io sia sempre più immerso nell'amore del Signore Gesù, con lo Spirito Santo, nel cuore del Padre. Amen
|O Mary, Mother of Jesus Redeemer and Mother of the Church, who in this Sanctuary of the Civita dispense, through Thy motherly intercession, numberless gifts of graces to all those who apply to Thee, accept my fervid supplication.
To Thee I entrust and yeld my heart and my soul, what I am and what I harvest through my working and suffering.
Keep me staunch in my faith, firm in my hope, ardent in my love, generous in my suffering, abandoned to the will of God.
Let me be a genuine son of the Church, a witness of the Gospel in the world, an instrument of safety for my brothers.
Let me be more and more steeped in the love of Lord Jesus, with the Holy Ghost, in the heart of the Father. Amen
If you happen to be passing through the province of Latina and have some time to visit the sites please take a few minutes to admire the beauty of one of the oldest Sanctuaries in all of Italy.
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