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Church of Madonna della Tibia

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La Madonna della Tibia
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It is a small church built on a rocky spur with an impressive backdrop. At its interior it presents a gilt, painted wooden altar in Baroque-style of late 17th century and a wooden statue of Madonna with Child known as ‘la paesana’ (the inhabitant of the village).

The legend tells the story of a rich cattle merchant from Amatrice who fell from his horse and broke his shinbone (tibia). He pleaded the Madonna to help him to go back home and to thank her for her divine intervention he built the church in 1617. On the night of August 17th, every year a traditional torchlight pilgrimage takes place, starting from the village of Crognaleto it goes as far as the rural church.

On the day of the anniversary, the church’s untied bells summon the worshippers who take part to a Mass in a blessed atmosphere. A general believe is that the statue of Madonna della Tibia made divine healings; and that it can protect the inhabitants and the surrounding areas from any calamity. The festivity of Madonna della Tibia – not to be mistaken with the aforementioned pilgrimage - takes place on the 8th of September.

 

Worship of the ‘Sette Madonne Sorelle’ (Seven Madonna Sisters)

 

The devotion for the Madonna della Tibia is part of the Marian popular worship known as ‘Sette Madonne Sorelle’. It is an old, popular, secular belief widespread in the rural areas. It says that the churches dedicated to the Madonna were located in a way that from each of them one could have spotted the others six. 

The locals used to pray the ‘Sette Madonne Sorelle’ to receive help for their needs, either material or spiritual, protection from calamities and plagues, and protection for their family. The pilgrimages to the Sisters’ Churches were very common during the festivities, either to request a divine intervention or to dissolve a vow.

Bibliography: Quotidianitá e devozione nella valle dell’alto Vomano, Il Piccolo Libro 2004 by Elisabetta D’Ambrosio.

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