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La Madonna della CivitaBy 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.
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.
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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