August 9, 2012

0302 ITALY (Lombardy) - A sanctuary for a woman killed by her husband

April 3, 1490. Il Novelletto Forest, near Crema, a town in Lombardy located about halfway between Milan and Cremona. A dark night, rainy. A man raises his sword upon a woman. She tries to defend his head with his right hand. The sword falls, severs her hand and hit on head. The man hits the woman another 13 times (each of them considered subsequent by the doctors deadly), then takes his bag with jewels and goes riding. An atrocious robbery, especially since the man, Bartolomeo Pederbelli, is the husband of the woman, Caterina degli Ubert. They married with a year before, he a fugitive from Bergamo wanted for murder, she a local woman from a famous family, gentle and pious. The day before the robbery, he told his wife that his mother is ill, and that they should to visit her together. She agreed and once they were away from town, have happened what I told earlier.

Left in agony in a pool of blood, Caterina invoked the Virgin Mary, imploring to receive the sacraments before dying. Soon appeared beside she a modestly dressed woman who took she by the left arm and said: "Arise, my daughter, and don't doubt". Bleeding has stopped as if by miracle. "Who are you?", asked Catherine. "I'm the one who you invoked. Follow me!" She accompanied her to a nearby farm, then disappeared. The next day, in Palm Sunday, Caterina was taken in town, where, after she receiving the sacraments from a priest and she forgave Bartolomeo, she gave up the ghost.

Soon after, the miracles began. On May 3, 1490, feast of the Invention of the Holy Cross, a lame child was cured after praying to the cross erected to the crime scene, dozens of healings following in the coming weeks. On that place was laid on June 19 the cornerstone of a sanctuary, called Santa Maria della Croce (Sait Mary of the Cross). It's the sanctuary in the image, at that time located at one kilometer outside Crema's medieval walls, on the road to Bergamo.

The work was commissioned to the architect Giovanni Battagio, a disciple of Donato Bramante, who left the works in 1500, being replaced by Giovanni Montanaro. It was damaged in the 1514 siege of the town, but it was restored, and over time were built the annexed convent and a bell tower. In recent year, the Sanctuary was entrusted to the Congregation of the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit, a religious community of men who live a contemplative and apostolic life.

The stamp is one of the two which form the Italian set for Europa stamp 2012, with the theme Visit.... 

Santa Maria della Croce, Crema - Wikipedia
Santuario basilica S. Maria Della Croce - preghiereagesuemaria. it
Santuario basilica S. Maria Della Croce - Geocaching

sender: Claudia Righini (direct swap)
sent from Pianengo (Lombardy / Italy), on 25.06.2012
photo: Carlo Bruschieri

1 comment: