Santuario dell'Addolorata, Castelpetroso, Isernia, Molise, Italy

A sudden, amazing profile against the background of the mountains and the sky, the sanctuary appears with its fairy-like profile to the traveller, shining at night with its huge multi-colored stained glass windows, its spikes rising like prayers to the Virgin Mary in Heaven. A spiritual sight that from afar already rewards the pilgrim with its promise of faith and glory. Here the architecture truly meets function. More info on Castelpetroso.
Santuario dell'Addolorata - Molise History - On the days 22 March and 1 april in the year 1888, in the area called «Cesa tra Santi» of Castelpetroso, Isernia, to peasants Bibiana and Serafino the Virgin Mary appeared in an attitude of sorrow, looking at the heavens, kneeling near her dead Son.

From then the Apparitions continued irregularly and in great number until the 1970's, and many were those who saw the Virgin. But two more apparitions were particularly important, always in that year 1888. On 26 september bishop monsignor Francisco Palmieri Macarone from Bojano - a delegate from Pope Leone XIII - made an inspection of the small place of the Apparitions, and also to him the Virgin Mary appeared in the same attitude of suffering motherhood.

The First Miracle took place in November 1888, when Carlo Acquaderni, a journalist from Bologna, visited Castelpetroso with his 12-year-old son Augusto, affected with bone tuberculosis. On that occasion both the father and the son had the consolation to see the Sorrowful Virgin, and the son Augusto was healed by the water that little after the first Apparition had gushed out on the place (and is still flowing). Thankful for the miracle, Mr. Acquaderni launched on the journal "the Servant of Maria" (that he directed) the plan to build in Castelpetroso a church in honor of the Vergine Addolorata.

The construction continued for almost 100 years, above all after the second world war, with the generous offerings of Italian and foreign faithfuls. In 1931 bishop Alberto Romita founded near the Sanctuary an orphanage. In 1947, on the place of the Apparitions, a small chapel in stone was erected and the spring of the miraculous water was properly arranged, while along the path up to the mountain the so-called "Via Matris" with seven small chapels representing the seven sorrows of Mary was realized.

On 6 December 1973, upon request of the bishops of the Molise, Pope Paul VI proclamò the Blessed Sorrowful Virgin of Castelpetroso female patron of the Region. Finally the new Sanctuary was inaugurated on 21 september 1975, by mons. Alberto Carinci who died in 1983 and was buried in the Sanctuary under the throne of the Virgin. On 19 March 1995 Pope John Paul II visited the Sanctuary. From september 1993 the Sanctuary of Castelpetroso is entrusted to the Franciscans of Immaculate (friars and nuns), a new religious order who want to live true to the "origins" of the Franciscans, according to the model of Saint Massimiliano M. Kolbe.