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Madonna di Valmala, Valmala, Cuneo, Piedmont, Italy

Commemorated on August 6
Madonna di Valmala, Valmala, Cuneo, Piedmont, Italy
Valmala: a country like any other, on the side valley of the Valle Varaita, about 800 meters above sea level. Now has about a hundred inhabitants. But at the time of the story you want to tell housed six hundred souls, scattered in 24 villages.
 
The story of the Apparition of Our Lady
 
On a clear August morning, at sunrise, four young shepherdesses push their herd of cows on the road that winds up the mountain, out of breath and come with a beautiful basin at 1378 meters above sea level and between Valmala the Chiotto.
 
The youngest of the girls has just nine years old and more have thirteen, and they are called Chiotto Mary, daughter of Chiaffredo, Mary Boschero of John, Mary Pittavino of Joseph and Maria Margaret Pittavino Antonio, and all native dwelling in Valmala.
 
 
Mary Boschero (12-11-1823)
 
Mary Margaret Pittavino (18-7-1822)
 
Mary Pittavino (04/07/1822)
 
Mary Chiotti (29-4-1822)
 
We follow the story of Don Lorenzo Trecco published in 1879, (1) just 45 years after the events he has seen and heard the witnesses, and in particular Pittavino Joseph, father of one of the shepherdesses, who died in 1869 at the age of 73 years, which remains in the Archives of Valmala parish, the manuscript of the affidavit ....
 
***
 
In the middle of the green valley of Chiotto there is a large rough stone around which the cowherd are the usual stop. That day while they rest, the four girls they see on that stone figure of a woman dressed decently, looking beautiful, kind and loving. He is of age of a young woman of about twenty, of ordinary stature.
 
He does not talk ... it seems even prevented to speak with an eagerness interior and soft-eyed the lives sprouting tears flowing down his cheeks and fall to the ground. She turns lovingly looks watery now a time to another of the four shepherdesses.
A large veil or mantle of dark-blue-celestino the covers over his head hair, a section of the front and sides to the right and left of the head, leaving the face and neck exposed. The same mantle falls on the shoulders bent, joins below the neck, stopped by a button bright yellow, and falls to the end of the garment. His arms stretched out to the right and to the left raise the pitch of the mantle, which protrude from the edge of the two whitest hands, the fingers open, as in the act of emotion. Under the cloak of a dark red robe completely covers the person, and a wonderful shiny yellow belt encircles the hips, feet fit simple sandals. On his head is a beautiful crown of dazzling high-gloss beauty adorned with gems. 
The shepherdesses are ecstatic and took away from fear, cease to speak. They do not know who he is, maybe St. Anne, perhaps the Madonna.
 
The Lady, as suddenly appeared so suddenly disappears, and the girls in the evening, returned home upset, tell what they saw.
 
Parents do not tend too much force and the cowherd to continue in the following days to come back with the cattle to the pastures of Chiotto. But after several days the dismay and fear upset the so unanimous that no longer want to go back to that place "because every now and then appears before the four of us the same great lady who always cries."
 
Pittavino Joseph, Mary's father, knowing the naivety of her daughter, she decides to accompany the girls to see it personally. On August 6, together with other people of the township, rises up to Chiotto with her daughter and the other three girls. How to arrive at the boulder, the four shepherdesses exclaim together, full of wonder:
 
"There she is standing on the stone, the beautiful Lady, She continues to cry; has the same clothes, the same physiognomy of the other times," and are surprised that the people around did not see anything.
One of the girls approaches the boulder with one hand and raises the hem of his garment of the Apparition, the onlookers saw the girl's hand with fingers closed as if reggessero something but do not see each other. Joseph Pittavino invites everyone to kneel and pray, and made a vow that if he can find out who is the Apparition, build a pylon in his honor or a chapel in that place.
 
These events happen at 10am on the morning of August 6, 1834, as stated in the autograph manuscript of the same Pittavino, in this document also reads that Bartholomew Chiotti Valmala, present at the time, from two years plagued by acute kidney pains that forced him to walk with difficulty and with the curved front facing the ground, turns with confidence to the mysterious Lady and promises a gift if you recover your health. Gets the grace and instantly delivers on the promise. The whole Valmala knows Bartholomew, all who have seen bent and hunchbacked, every time they see him healthy and straightened.
 
On the 15th of August, the feast of the Assumption of Mary, Joseph Pittavino feels inwardly inspired to go back to the place of the apparition, with the secret hope that the Lady appears, and so it proves how the Blessed Virgin; him to join many other people. As the party comes to an Chiotto, all around the stone, and the four young shepherdesses with voice exclaim with wonder:
 
"Here it is, here it is the Lady! More beautiful and more beautiful than the other times, it has the same surface, the same dress, the same crown on his head. "
 
Nobody sees the apparition of these, but all are convinced that it is the Virgin Mary. Not to mention, all kneel; Pittavino light a blessed candle, making the sign of the Holy Cross, against any diabolical suggestion, and intones the Holy Rosary.
 
We aim to please with
 
During the fervent recitation of the Rosary, the four milkmaids, as abducted in ecstasy, holding his gaze fixed on the floor of the stone and a bit 'above it, on their face bystanders noticed a lively and heartwarming joy. After the recitation of the Rosary, Pittavino asks if you can still see the Lady shepherdesses, they are surprised that others do not see, and respond that yes, that is always at the same place, and that the eyes are dripping with tears shining in his face. Then continue:
 
"We hear voices singing religious ... that beautiful voices! ... What a lovely song ... a song that resembles that of the Solemn Mass of the dead ...".
 
They say also to see the people moving in the blue sky and pass in front of the sun, darkening. In fact, at times the cowherd are obscured, such as in the shade, and then nothing.
 
"Even the beautiful Lady is gone from the stone."
 
The appearances are repeated for fifty days, the Lady is now standing firm, now sitting on the rock, now seen walking along the floor that surrounds the stone. "It almost always has tears in her eyes. We aim to please. It draws us to his amorous glances. Often part of the rock, and there is a short ride not far from the stone, then back again on top of it. "During one of the apparitions, Our Lady says to Mary, in the dialect of Occitan language:
 
"Going back home tonight to tell your father that I want you to let me build a pylon in this place where I am. You will tell him that under these clods where you and your companions have seen me walk you will find sand and stones in abundance and quantity not only to build the pylon, but to do even more factories. "
 
 
Joseph Pittavino immediately arises in the construction of the pylon, but which the Holy Virgin or dedicate? The girls say simply that the Lady is an extraordinary beauty and that, with the repetition of the apparitions and after the recitation of the Rosary is manifested more and more beautiful, but nothing more. Among some people argue that it is St. Anna, but the common opinion and the general belief is that it is really the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Pittavino, to solve the riddle leads the four girls to examine the many depictions of saints and Madonnas which are located in the district of Valmala, but none of those images convincing. Finally one day on the market Venasca, noting the many paintings on display from a seller stranger, all four, eyes fixed on one, with wonder and joy exclaim, "There it is! Here it is the image that resembles in all respects to the Lady that we have seen many times on the stone Chiotto. "
 
It is the Madonna appeared to Antonio Botta March 18, 1536, relied on in the great sanctuary of Savona under the title of the Blessed Virgin Mary Mother of Mercy. 
Pittavino that Image and immediately buys the paint is on the pylon by the painter Giuseppe Gauteri of Saluzzo. From that day the apparitions cease altogether, as if to signify that Our Lady wanted to indicate you want to be venerated with the title of Mother of Mercy, but the devotion of the faithful continues, the buildings around the pylon grow, and reach the current Sanctuary .
 
Don Mario Morra SDB
 
(1) Trecco D. Lawrence, Apparitions of Valmala (Saluzzo, Tip. Brothers Lobetti-Bodoni, 1879), G. Marc-Aldo Ponso, "The Weeping Woman. History of the Shrine of Valmala from its origins to the present day." (Savigliano, L'Art, 1976).
 
  - Drawings taken from: "In the Footsteps of the Virgin Mary ..."; Giraudo Publisher -
 
Source: magazine "Mary Help of Christians", July 2002

Source: http://www.mariadinazareth.it/www2005/Apparizioni/Apparizione Valmala.htm 

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