The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Sorrows in Castelpetroso is located in Molise. Immense and fascinating, it is set in a green valley. Actually, seeing it looks like a fairytale castle.
The story of Marian apparition
The Sanctuary is located in the province of Isernia and was built as a tribute to the Virgin Mary. It is said that in this place, in 1888, two peasant women witnessed the apparition of Our Lady. In particular, the story of Fabiana Cicchino and Serafina Valentino tells of a normal working day at Cesa Tra Santi. In the afternoon, as they were about to go home, the two shepherd realized they have lost a sheep. Thus, they started searching among the hedges and Fabiana sew the sheep near a strange light. To satisfy her curiosity, the woman approached. Therefore, when she arrived near the light she is faced with the image of the kneeling Virgin with Jesus at her feet. The Virgin had her eyes turned towards the sky and her arms spread out in the act of offering. Later Serafina also arrived, but she couldn’t see anything.
The choice to build the Sanctuary
A few days later, on Easter, the apparition is renewed. But even more important, this time Serafina also managed to see the Virgin. Rumors spread in the country amid the skepticism of many. But, in September of the same year, even Msgr. Francesco Macarone Palmieri, Bojano bishop, likewise sew the apparition. Later, at the foot of the cliff where there was the first apparition, a water source mysteriusly appeared, and it turned out to be miraculous. Thanks to these episodes and to the new apparition that follow, it was decided to build a Sanctuary named after Our Lady of Sorrows. In fact, in 1890, the first stone is placed, even if the consecration takes place in 1975. This Sanctuary, besides being a symbol for many believers, is a fascinating example of architecture.
The external architecture of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Sorrows in Castelpetroso
The sanctuary of Our lady or Sorrows is located within the territory of the municipality of Castelpetroso. Outside, a feature of the church is the facade. In fact it is squeezed between two bell towers and is divided horizontally by three sections of the same height. Similarly, each of the towers ends with a triangular cusp from which a four-light window opens in the center. In addition to this, on the sides you can see a three-light window.
At the bottom, there are the three splayed portals, decorated with mosaic lunettes. In particular, they depict Jesus on the cross between Mary and John. While on the left is the Annunciation and on the right the Coronation of Mary. Likewise the bronze knockers depict scenes from the Old and New Testament. Furthermore, the two bell towers have a square plan and have two superimposed orders of mullioned windows. Inside there is a concert composed of ten bells of Marinelli Pontifical Foundry of Bells. On the other hand, the octagonal dome on a high drum is also very beautiful. It has a mullioned window on each side, ending with a triangular spire. To tell the truth, the dome is surmounted by an octagonal lantern. It is 52 meters high.