Madonna del Soccorso / Our Lady of Soccorso, Castellammare del Golfo, Trapani, Sicily, Italy ( 1718)- 13 July, 21 August:
In Castellammare del Golfo , in the Province of Trapani, a miraculous event occurred on 13 July 1718, when the Town was in the midst of war between Philip V and Amedeo di Savoia, for the possession of Sicily. A Spanish ship, pursued by five English ships, arrived to take refuge under the castle, from where the enemy ships were repelled.
The people, frightened, cried out for a miraculous help to their Patron – all fled the City, and despite the blows of the English artillery, no-one was killed or injured. But all of a sudden, to everyone’s amazement, the white-dressed Madonna appeared from Mount delle Scale, followed by a group of Angels, who descended towards Cala Marina. This vision terrified the British who hastened in retreat and left the port.
The name of Madonna del Soccorso derives from this extraordinary event.
Every two years, in fact, on 13 July in the Town of the Gulf the “Historical Re-enactment” of the miraculous intervention of Maria Santissima del Soccorso, in the City of Castellammare.
Devotion to the Madonna del Soccorso is particularly felt in the Magolà hamlet, in Lamezia Terme but also, in the whole area. The Sanctuary of the Madonna del Soccorso is located on a green hill overlooking the City of Lamezia Terme and overlooking the plain of Sant’Eufemia, in the most panoramic point . The presence of this Church then gave its name to the whole area. According to a historical research by Don Pietro Bonacci ( 1915 – 2007 ), devotion to the Madonna del Soccorso is very ancient and was initially practiced in the Church of the Reformed Fathers of St Frances (currently the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore) in very remote times. This devotion was also in use in the Church of Santa Lucia , which until the eighteenth century, had the title of Parish of St Maria del Soccorso, then passed to the Church of Magolà. It is said that the Reformed Fathers decorated with great piety and love, a miraculous image of the Madonna painted by St Luke and brought from Jerusalem by a Franciscan Friar who landed in Sant’Eufemia, fell ill and died with the Reformed Fathers. This image was of great veneration for its continuous graces but no trace has been found, it has disappeared.
The current Church was built shortly after the construction of the votive Shrine. In fact, a document reports that it was completed in 1740. . At the beginning of the nineteenth century cholera broke out and a small hospital was built to treat the sick. In the twentieth century everything returned to normal and the celebrations in honour of the Madonna began, which were established on the third Sunday of July, preceded by the Novena. On Saturdays it was customary to celebrate The Rosary and other Marian devotions, in which one spent a whole day with the Madonna and sang traditional hymns. On the day of the festival, after several Masses, the procession with the Statue of the Madonna begins,and looks out from the hill to bless the City. There was also a great fair. Today the festival is held the same way.
St Henry (972-1024) Holy Roman Emperor (Optional Memorial) Henry was well known for his missionary spirit and for his protection of the Pope in times of trouble. Henry ruled with a spirit of great humility and always sought to give the glory to God. He used his position to promote the work of the Church and the peace and happiness of the people.
Bl Anne-Andrée Minutte
St Arno of Würzburg
Bl Barthélemy Jarrige de la Morelie de Biars
Bl Berthold of Scheide
Blessed Carlos Manuel Cecilio Rodríguez Santiago (1918–1963) Layperson, Catechist. He is the first Puerto Rican, the first Caribbean-born layperson in history to be Beatified.
St Clelia Barbieri (1847-1870) Foundress of the Congregation of the Little Sisters of the Mother of Sorrows, Mystic.
St Clelia’s Story:
Bl Élisabeth Verchière
St Emanuele Lê Van Phung
St Esdras the Prophet
St Eugene of Carthage
Bl Ferdinand Mary Baccilleri
St Iosephus Wang Kuiju
Blessed James of Voragine OP (c 1226 – 3 or 16 July 1298) Bishop, Author of the ‘Golden Legend.’
Bl Jean of France
St Joel the Prophet
Bl Louis-Armand-Joseph Adam
Blessed Mariano de Jesus Euse Hoyos (1845-1926) Priest, Defender of the Poor, children, the sick and the rural communities.
Bl Marie-Anastasie de Roquard
Bl Marie-Anne Depeyre
Bl Marie-Anne Lambert
St Mildred of Thanet
St Muritta of Carthage
St Paulus Liu Jinde
St Salutaris of Carthage
St Sarra of Egypt
St Serapion of Alexandria
Serapion of Macedonia
Bl Thérèse-Henriette Faurie
Bl Thomas Tunstal
Martyrs of Cyprus – 300 saints: 300 Christians who retired to Cyprus to live as cave hermits, devoting themselves to prayer and an ascetic life devoted to God. Tortured and martyred for their faith and their bodies dumped in the various caves in which they had lived. We know the names of five of them but no other details even about them – Ammon, Choulélaios, Epaphroditus, Eusthénios and Héliophotos. They were beheaded in the 12th century on Cyprus and their bodies dumped in the cave where they had lived and only rediscovered long afterwards.
Martyrs of Philomelio – 31 saints: 31 soldiers martyred for their faith in the persecutions of prefect Magno, date unknown. The only name that has come down to us is Alexander. In Philomelio, Phrygia (in modern Turkey).
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