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Madonna della Croce, Pietranico, Pescara, Abruzzo, Italy

Commemorated on March 25, May 3
Madonna della Croce, Pietranico, Pescara, Abruzzo, Italy
On March 25, 1613, Annunciation Day, a farmer named Domenico del Biondo was walking through the Cross Quarter of Pietranico on his way to inspect his crops, when a woman in starry white appeared to him. She asked for the restoration of a shrine, then disappeared into it. This was the Queen of the Heavens, according to an inscription on the oratory built there in 1618. In March of 1675, a marauding horde of military deserters sacked and plundered the town. When they threatened to return that spring, citizens prayed to Our Lady of the Cross, and on May 2 declared the town spared. Pietranico celebrates the Madonna of the Cross on May 3, formerly the Catholic Feast of the Holy Cross, which was probably the patronal festa of the Cross Quarter before the apparition. On the night before, May 2, people light hundreds of bonfires in and around the town, so that the whole area appears to be on fire as the 1600s statue of the Madonna parades through it. On May 3, the statue goes in procession from the parish church to the rural oratory.   
 
Sources:
 
 
 
 “Festa della Madonna della Croce,” Eventi Feste, www.eventiesagre.it
Maurizio65, photo taken May 4, 2008 (detail), "madonna della croce4," Flickr - Photo Sharing!, www.flickr.com
Giovanni Corrieri, "Oratorio di S. Maria della Croce a Pietranico," In Abruzzo, numero 0, gennaio - marzo 2005, www.inabruzzo.it
"Scheda Barocco prescelta," Abruzzo Cultura - Provincia di Pescara, www.regione.abruzzo.it/xcultura
Pro Loco Pietranico, "Pietranico," Abruzzo, itinerario, www.viagginrete-it.it

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