We are here now. Next January 19th will be celebrated the 500th anniversary of the discovery of the statue of the Madonnina della Cava emerged from the bowels of the earth, discovery made by the Augustinian father Leonardo Savina, who, on the night of 19 January 1518, dreamed of the Madonna pointing to the place where he would have found the statuette, that is, inside a cave, which in fact happened following the collapse of a Bone that revealed the precious simulacrum.
This morning, in the crowded press conference that took place in the Shrine of the Patron Saint of Marsala attended by the Rector, Father Giacomo Putaggio, the bishop of the Diocese of Mazara del Vallo Monsignor Domenico Mogavero, father Ponte and the mayor of Marsala Alberto Di Girolamo, the various stages of the celebrations that, according to all the present ones, will not only concern day 19 January but will be extended to the whole year.
“What we tried to do during the preparatory phase of this program that covers the whole year is to achieve a very important goal, that is not to trivialize this event by concentrating it in one day but covering the whole year to make people understand that we have in front of a “Year of Grace”, a time when everyone can experience the beauty of the Faith, of the healthy tradition that exists in this Marian city, where the cult of Our Lady is deeply felt. It is necessary to reconcile the historical aspect recalling the discovery of the statue and the value that this church has. We are faced with an event that may indeed be the occasion for a spiritual rebirth of each of us. We have the whole year to do this, starting next January 10 when the Jubilee Year will be opening here at the Shrine, a year that will end next year again in January ». These are the words pronounced by Don Giacomo Putaggio who spoke of the “extension” of the Marian celebrations throughout the year.
Bishop Mogavero spoke of “goal that leads us to celebrate the memory to make known the History of the Madonnina della Cava which represents the beloved and venerated Patroness of the city, emerged from the bowels of Mother Earth so dear and so important for Marsala that they are very attached to the cult of the Madonna “.
The mayor Di Girolamo spoke about Faith and History, Cult and religious tourism practicable in this city thanks to the many churches that could represent a flywheel for the visits of both the faithful and tourists who love to know the monuments that “ooze” of past and that also speak to us of the present.
The mayor speaks of “dream”, of a project that, if realized, would unite many churches in an “obligatory path”, in a religious and artistic itinerary that would place Marsala among the most sought after destinations for tourists.
«The entrance to the city is Porta Garibaldi in piazza Mameli and the first church to be found is the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Sorrows. Continuing inevitably we come across the Matrix and then the church of the Jesuit college where they should soon begin the work to make it a real Museum of the Tapestries. Continuing the way there is the church of San Michele, closed for decades because it is dangerous and must be secured to allow passage in this church, in the church of Madonna della Cava. We are restoring the portal that is facing us. At the end of all there is also the relocation of the “Porticella” in piazza Marconi. The ancient part of the city is right here. Marsala was born here and it seems a good omen for this five hundredth anniversary to be able to carry out many projects within this year “. And with this hope the mayor concluded his speech at a press conference.
The celebrations will start on January 7th in the Conference Hall in the San Pietro Complex at 4.30 pm, where the 500th anniversary will be discussed, followed by a philatelic exhibition with stamps from the Vatican City. Without stopping, the meetings will be held until January 19, the day dedicated to the Patron Saint.