Maria Santissima Scala del Paradiso / Holy Mary, Ladder to Paradise, Noto, Siracusa, Sicily, Italy (1498) and Memorials of the Saints

Finding of the Body of St Stephen, Protomartyr

Maria Santissima Scala del Paradiso / Holy Mary, Ladder to Paradise, Noto, Siracusa, Sicily, Italy (1498) – 3 August:

Local tradition holds that Angels frescoed the image of the Madonna, Ladder to Paradise, on a rock wall in the countryside before St. Corrado di Fuori’s arrival in 1340 and, that it was discovered there on 3 August 1498. However, the Diocese of Noto, of which the Madonna della Scala is the Patron, suggests that an unknown artist created the fresco in the late 1500s or early 1600s, a period more in keeping with its style.

In any case, by the time of the earthquake that destroyed the City of Noto on 11 January 1693, popular devotion had grown around the image, surrounding it with votive lamps, ex votos left in thanksgiving for answered prayers, and eventually, an Oratory. The earthquake demolished the Chapel but the image remained intact.

In 1708, a group of Carmelite Hermits took over the site and undertook the building of another Church, which was blessed the following year. In 1712, Ven. Girolamo Terzo, recently appointed the group’s Superior, hired an expert to detach the fresco from its rock and arranged its spectacular transfer to the church, pulled by a team of untamed oxen. Ven. Girolamo promoted devotion to the Madonna of the Ladder by distributing copies of the image on evangelical visits throughout the region.

With a reputation for cures and other miracles, the Hermitage became a place of pilgrimage, particularly on the Feast of the Nativity of Mary, 8 September.
The Sanctuary suffered damage during World War I. Afterwards it was restored and in 1919 the Catholic Church gave the Madonna, Ladder to Paradise, her own liturgical feast day, 3 August. An annual festa on this date draws the people of Noto to the Shrine seven miles distant, where after Mass in the Carmelite Chapel a statuary version of the image goes in procession through all the neighbouring districts.

The image of the “Ladder to Paradise” echoes the story of Jacob (Genesis 28:12) and St John Climacus’s Ladder of Ascent, a guide to the spiritual life written in Greek in the 600s, which became popular among Western religious after its translation into Latin in the 1500s (Scala Paradisi). Here, the Virgin is identified with the way to heaven because of her role in bringing Christ to humanity and her ongoing help to all who follow Him.

St Abibas
St Aspren (1st Century) Bishop of Naples

Blessed Augustine Gazotich OP (1262-1323) Bishop of Lucera, Croatia, Of the Order of Preachers. He was also noted for being the guide for Dante Alighieri as the poet travelled through Croatia. His reputation for personal holiness remained noted long after his death; this resulted in Pope Innocent XII confirming the late Bishop’s beatification in 1700.

St Dalmatius
St Euphronius of Autun
St Gamaliel
St Gaudentia
Bl Godfrey of Le Mans
Bl Gregory of Nonantula
St Hermellus
St Nicodemus
St Senach of Clonard (Died 6th Century) One of the Twelve Apostles of Ireland
St Trea of Ardtree

St Waltheof of Melrose O.Cist. (c 1095-1159) Monk, Abbot, Apostle of charity, Mystic.
His Life:

Martyrs of Vercelli – 4 saints (below)-

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
Biandrés Avelino Gutiérrez Moral
Bl Antonio Isidoro Arrué Peiró
Bl Eleuterio Mancho López
Bl Geronimo Limón Márquez
Bl Patricio Beobide Cendoya
The Story of these around 10000 Martyrs of Spain:



Passionate Catholic. Being a Catholic is a way of life - a love affair "Religion must be like the air we breathe..."- St John Bosco Prayer is what the world needs combined with the example of our lives which testify to the Light of Christ. This site, which is now using the Traditional Calendar, will mainly concentrate on Daily Prayers, Novenas and the Memorials and Feast Days of our friends in Heaven, the Saints who went before us and the great blessings the Church provides in our Catholic Monthly Devotions. This Site is placed under the Patronage of my many favourite Saints and especially, St Paul. "For the Saints are sent to us by God as so many sermons. We do not use them, it is they who move us and lead us, to where we had not expected to go.” Charles Cardinal Journet (1891-1975) This site adheres to the Catholic Church and all her teachings. PLEASE ADVISE ME OF ANY GLARING TYPOS etc - In June 2021 I lost 95% sight in my left eye and sometimes miss errors. Thank you and I pray all those who visit here will be abundantly blessed. Pax et bonum! 🙏

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