Related Books

Madonna di San Giovanni, Sommariva Bosco (Cuneo), Italy

Commemorated on April 6
Madonna di San Giovanni, Sommariva Bosco (Cuneo), Italy
This cry full of wonder breaks the silence of the quiet morning of May 6, 1685, Second Sunday of Easter, and attracts the attention of a few people gathered in prayer in front of the majestic image of the Madonna, painted in red, with a side of St. John the Baptist and St. Anthony Abbot, on a pylon near Sommariva Bosco, on the road leading to Caramagna. It is the feast day of San Giovanni a Porta Latina. 
Notarial acts, which are located in the Archives archbishop of Turin (Vol. X Codex de diversis), report the descriptions made before a notary "dall'Illustrissimo and Mr. Michael Beggiami, by the grace of God and of the Apostolic See Archbishop of Turin, officially delegated "by the eyewitnesses. 
Such Carlo Antonio Ferrerio of "priocha diocese of Asti," directed towards the Sanctuary of Moretta to fulfill a vow, along with one of his relatives Andrea Rosso, blind and stopped walking, he stops in front of the chapel of the Madonna, the exit Sommariva, to rest and to pray. After a short prayer, Andrea feels healed, a miracle and immediately goes on the journey to the Sanctuary of the Madonna Moretta to thank. The few people present rush to warn the pastor, but when the authorities arrive on site no longer find the little party with Andrea Rosso. The news of the extraordinary fact is diffused in a heartbeat, and people flocking and curious. The next morning, the entire population is in turmoil. It is market day in Sommariva, from Caramagna, from Racconigi, from Carmarthen, from Ceresole and from all over the district, flock sellers and buyers who are attracted by the desire to know and to do something about the latest prodigy. Even Don Cesare Gargano, of nearby Ceresole is, of course, on foot, Sommariva, reciting his breviary. At one point he is approaching a beautiful brunette who asks, nell'aspro dialect of the place: "A Chiel-lu goes to the Madona of St. Giuvan?" (She goes to the Sanctuary of the Madonna di San Giovanni?). The priest replied annoyed and amazed by the question: "Why do you ask?". Then the girl, still in dialect, explains: "Because yesterday I did a miracle for a blind man." The good curate is astonished, because the girl disappears shortly, in the glow of the morning, then hastens to inform the authorities of Sommariva, and everyone runs in front of the image of the Virgin Mary. "And here - still tell the Acts - the sacred image which they all had fixed his eyes, almost living person suddenly changes color in his face becomes pale, then crimson, then turned as of fire, especially on his left cheek, which presents all its fullness to the present, and on the forehead, in the midst of which is a vein of thickness less than a finger, swollen and red, as a person moved by indignation. These changes follow one another alternately for the space of perhaps a quarter of an hour, and are accompanied by other no less distinguished and admirable. The eyes of the painting move in their orbits, especially the left eye that turns everything black on the side of his nose, now from the corresponding ear, now towards the upper eyelid, now towards the bottom, hiding half. And this for three or four times in the above mentioned period of time, and then remained the same black in the middle of the eye, and then you could see the face of the Virgin all counterfeit, pale and almost vanished in the space of mezz'avemaria, returning to his appearance ... ". The extraordinary events continue in the following days, and miraculous healings begin, the locals and the surrounding area is in turmoil. The facts are interpreted in different ways: some are a sign of divine blessing, others are salutary warnings and admonitions. In the face of such events, is immediately established a process led by a committee headed by a delegate of the bishop of Turin, as the Acts mentioned notary. 
The old image of Our Lady of St. John, depicting the Blessed Virgin Mary, dressed in red, with a white coat, in the act of discovering, with the right hand, the face of the child, lying on her lap, over a red cloth, with her left hand she holds a book on her chest and looks, with sweet, loving eyes, the face of the child. 
Great celebrations were made at the first coronation of the effigy, September 21, 1785, and still more at the second coronation at the hands of Cardinal Alimonda, Archbishop of Turin, May 6, 1885. 
The Shrine, a splendid monument of the Piedmontese Baroque, was built following the first miracle of 6 May 1685 for the popular will and gratitude to the Virgin, with municipal ordinance (July 8, 1685), the ancient chapel that contained the pylon, designed by the architect Michelangelo Garoé. Behind the altar you can still admire the miraculous image preserved as it was originally. 
Don Mario Morra SDB
The Madonna di San Giovanni Sommariva Bosco - Cuneo
Cf Tullio Locatelli, The Sanctuary of the Madonna di Sommariva del Bosco (Pinerolo 1984)




Additional information