Madonna del Sasso / Our Lady of the Rock, Fiesole, Tuscany, Italy (1028) – 25 November:
The Abbot Orsini wrote: “Our Lady of the Rock, in the territory of Fiesole, in Tuscany. This image is placed in a rock, where two shepherds retired to pray; Our Lady ordered them to build a Church in this place.”
On the Feast of the Visitation in 1028 two young twin sisters, while they were guarding their flock, sought protection under a rock. The Virgin Mary holding the Infant Jesus in her arm, appeared to them in a cloud. She reassured them and told them that she desired a Church to be built there, then asks them to alert their father. He went to that place and the Virgin appeared to him and reiterates her request. The inhabitants of the village flocked to the site. Many of them also saw the Virgin. The ecclesiastical authorities approved the construction of a Sanctuary dedicated to Our Lady of Rock. The construction had just begun when Mary appeared to all present to thank them and encourage them to bring the work to completion.
According to local legend, the Gospel was first preached at Fiesole (in the Province of Tuscany by Saint Romulus, a Disciple of Saint Peter during the days of the Christian persecutions.
The Cathedral of Saint Romulus was built in 1028 by Bishop James Bavaro with materials taken from several other edifices – hence, the Shrine took the name Our Lady of the Rock. The little Church, now known as the Cathedral or Duomo of Saint Romulus, is in the Cathedral square – called the Shrine of the Primerana – is the one dedicated to Our Lady of the Rock. It was then enlarged in 1260, and again the following century. The bell tower dates from the year 1213.
The Cathedral contains sculptures by Mino da Fiesole and the old Cathedral was once a Benedictine Abbey and had a large library, though that has long since been dispersed to other locations. The Abbey closed in 1778.
Among other apparitions, too numerous to mention, is the one in which Mary warned Saint Andrew Corsini of his approaching death. During his lifetime, our Blessed Mother obtained from her Divine Son for Andrew the gifts of prophecy, miracles of healing, the conquest of hardened souls and many other conversions.
The Cathedral of Fiesole is the resting place of a long list of Saints and illustrious churchmen, all of whom were devout clients of Our Lady.
St Catherine of Alexandria (Died c 305) Virgin Martyr, Philosopher, One of the Fourteen Holy Helpers (Optional Memorial)
St Catherine’s Life and Death:
Bl Adalbert of Caramaico
St Alanus of Lavaur
St Audentius of Milan
Blessed Beatrice d’Ornacieux O.Cart (c 1260–1303) Virgin, Carthusian Nun.
St Bernold of Ottobeuren
Bl Conrad of Heisterbach
Bl Ekbert of Muensterschwarzach
Blessed Elisabeth Achler TOR (1386-1420) “Blessed Elisabeth the Good,” Franciscan Tertiary Sister, Mystic, Stigmatist, Apostle of the Holy Eucharist, prayer and charity, gifted with the charism of prophecy.
St Erasmus of Antioch
Bl Garcia of Arlanza
Bl Guido of Casauria
St Imma of Wurzburg
Bl Jacinto Serrano López
St Jucunda of Reggio Aemilia
Bl Maria Corsini Beltrame Quattrocchi
St Mercurius of Caesarea
St Moses of Rome
Bl Santiago Meseguer Burillo
Martyrs of Africa – (13 saints): A group of 13 Christians murdered together for their faith in Africa, date unknown. The only details to have survived are their names – Claudian, Cyprian, Donatus, Felix, Januarius, Julian, Lucian, Marcian, Martialis, Peter, Quirianus, Victor and Vitalis.