Mother Speranza’s Aquifer
The town of Collevalenza is closely linked to a nun, Josefa Alhama Valera, who was better known as Mother Speranza. This woman of faith journeyed to Collevalenza in 1951 and there she apparently received the instruction to found a sanctuary dedicated to the Merciful Love.
From that day and in the years to come, Collevalenza became one of the most well-known religious destinations in Italy. The pilgrimage to Collevalenza was boosted with the discovery of an aquifer in 1960, fulfilling the will of the apparition that Mother Speranza had seen.
The water of the Sanctuary supposedly has the virtue of making the sick heal with just a drop of water, especially the poor sick who have no means to seek medical attention.
The miraculous water of the Sanctuary comes from an aquifer found over 120 meters deep. Mother Speranza, on divine inspiration, indicated its position and the water that flows there is material proof, as well as a symbol of divine grace.
The pools are divided by gender and were only accessible after 1979, several years after their construction. A great moment of faith is linked to the liturgy of the waters, in which a prayer of Mother Speranza herself is recited, to instill faith and devotion in the one who is about to immerse themself.
A touching way to welcome the Merciful Love of Christ, it’s an unforgettable experience both for believers and non-believers.
Fountain of the Madonna, Lombardy
Moving from Umbria to Lombardy, we arrive at the Sanctuary of the Madonna della Fontana, near Casalmaggiore in the province of Cremona. The Sanctuary was created on a small oratory that existed before 1463, where an image of the Blessed Virgin called ‘dei Bagni’ was venerated.
The healthy spring waters nearby gave this area its name, however going back 1000 years there is a document on the area, and from that we know that a well was built next to a source to allow those passing through it to quench their thirst and refresh.
Later on, a small chapel was built next to the well, which took the name of Pozzo di Santa Maria. In 1320, a man born blind refreshed himself with the water and regained his sight. It was then that the chapel became a sanctuary, and was subsequently enlarged and embellished over the years.
On the first Saturday of each month, and on Marian holidays, the liturgy of the waters takes place which involves entering the garden fountain.
The Miracle Font of Caravaggio
Located in the province of Bergamo, The Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Source of Caravaggio stands at the center of a large esplanade surrounded by arcades on all four sides, which boasts 200 arches running for almost eight hundred meters.
On the avenue you can see a charming marble obelisk adorned with bronze cherubs and inscriptions which testify to the miraculous healings that took place. Beyond the obelisk there is a large fountain, the water of which passes under the Sanctuary, collecting the ‘Sacred Source’ which flows into the rear square. Here it is collected in a swimming pool available to the sick to immerse themselves in.
The origin story tells us of an apparition of the Madonna to a peasant woman named Giannetta de ‘Vacchi on May 26th, 1432. It is also known by the surname of her husband Varoli, who noticed that from the point where the Madonna appears, water begins to gush from the ground, eventually becoming the well-known miraculous fountain.
The Rosa Mystica Source
The Fontanelle di Montichiari in the province of Brescia is another place dedicated to miraculous waters. The story sees the protagonist Pierina Gilli, the ninth daughter of a modest peasant family, receiving messages from the Virgin who presents herself as “Rosa Mystica”.
On April 17th 1966, which was a Sunday, Gilli and a friend named Lucia went to the Fontanelle, where she allegedly had an apparition of Our Lady, and after speaking to her made the spring miraculous. At the source there was also a rudimentary staircase that led to the source, and those who wanted to benefit from the miraculous water had to bow and kiss each step as a sign of penance.
Today there is a wooden outbuilding where there are taps for drinking and cleaning your face, and also a small church with a swimming pool with water no deeper than twenty-five centimetres.
Little Lourdes, Rome
Miracle waters flow in Rome, too. In the heart of the Eternal City, in the Trevi district, a few steps from the Galleria Colonna, there is the Church of Santa Maria in Via. The faithful know it as the “Little Lourdes” of Rome.
According to legend, the palace of Cardinal Capocci stood in place of the church, and on the night between of September 26th 1256, a servant of the cardinal dropped an image of the Madonna painted on a terracotta tile into the well.
From that moment, the water began to flow from the well, flooding all the stables of the palace. One of the grooms warned the palace of the incident and the cardinal decided to go to the stables, retrieved the painting of the Madonna and the water stopped immediately.
Amazed by the fact, Cardinal Capocci began to pray for understanding, and very shortly after he decided to have a chapel dedicated to the Madonna built in the place of the well.
Currently, in the chapel of the Madonna del Pozzo there is a small tap connected to the well from which the water considered miraculous is drawn.
Furthermore, tradition has it that a stone from the well was from the same well where the Samaritan woman quenched Jesus’ thirst.
Even today, pilgrimages continue inside the church to draw and drink the water from the spring, which seems to continue to perform miracles.
You might also be interested in some of the mythical side of Naples. If you wish to visit any of these spots on your next Italian vacation, be sure to mention it to your Bellarome travel consultant who will be sure to incorporate it into your package. Contact us to start planning your trip of a lifetime.