ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Madonna story

Updated on August 4, 2018

The Madonna effigy they found in 1621

This is the Madonna with child effigy that they found in the year 1621 at Genzano di Lucania. In reality the effigy they found had no gold crown and it is a sculpture on a rectangular flat stone about 45 centimeter or there about.
This is the Madonna with child effigy that they found in the year 1621 at Genzano di Lucania. In reality the effigy they found had no gold crown and it is a sculpture on a rectangular flat stone about 45 centimeter or there about. | Source

What devotees do at this Madonna feast

Devotees of this Madonna, at this Madonna feast sometime buy this large candela, then they walk in the procession holding this large weight in their arms for hours. So, they give money and work hard, because they believe this Madonna could help them
Devotees of this Madonna, at this Madonna feast sometime buy this large candela, then they walk in the procession holding this large weight in their arms for hours. So, they give money and work hard, because they believe this Madonna could help them

The Madonna story of Genzano

Welcome to our article (17), the Madonna story, of Genzano di Lucania.

Dear readers, we are continuing to write about my life story, and these articles that we are writing here they will include also the Madonna story of Genzano, since this is part of the history of Genzano di Lucania.

Anyhow, since we are talking here about Genzano di Lucania and its history, for this reason here-under are two or three links that are a must see for those people that come from Genzano town and everyone else: I hope they work, as they brink up more interesting other links to see.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dEon5GA04Y

Travel Videos - Fountain cavallina,Genzano, Italy - The Compulsive ...

www.youtube.com/watch?v=AsPrg1ucmsQ

((But there is more, only for those people that read Italian, they can use this link to see a lot more about this Madonna feast and there are also other interesting links within this link here:

https://www.facebook.com/genzanotv/videos/976389089194247/?t=44

https://www.facebook.com/genzanotv/videos/976815469151609/?t=10

Now, as you know, in our last article called, the heritage chapter, we have explained and accepted that in Genzano di Lucania a long time ago there were some Greek people living in one of the chasms, since even today one of the chasms is called the Greek chasm. Anyhow, I would like to go back in time and talk about those Greek people; because, there are reasons to believe that this Madonna story that we are going to write here would not exist if the Greek people were not there, because it could not have happened; but it did happen because of what they did a long time ago.

You see, we believe that before the Greek people left the chasm for the last time, they did something that has made history in this town of Genzano. But before we talk about what they did, because there isn’t any written history we have to tell you that we must assume many things. So, we need to use all the evidence that we can find, and then work it out the best way we can.

So, here we must assume all this imaginary story, because of the evidence that follows, you see, when we look at this evidence it seems that the Greek people were forced to move away from their living place in the chasm, and when they did they hid their Madonna effigy at the lower end of the chasm. Why they hid this Madonna effigy we are not sure; but I am sure that you can guess that this is another very important story to tell about the Greek people of the Christian community that lived in Genzano territory a very long time ago, we believe at the beginning of the Christian Era. Here we must admit again that there is no real written evidence left and what we are telling here is mostly folklore stories and some logic human explanations when we try to put together what is known today.

We have also to admit that what follows here is mostly guess work, because nobody knows for sure what happened to the Greek people, it is known that they were there in the chasm and then they were not there anymore, but the facts are not known and perhaps today it is not important to know what happened to them, because after all in this article we want only to tell you the story of the Greek Madonna effigy that is going to follow here-under. But for sure there must have been an upheaval of some sort early in the Christian era; because, they (the Greek people) seem to have been persecuted and had to run away, and when they left, they had to hide away their most precious religious things. So, they left behind buried in a secret spot in a little-known cave, an effigy of a Madonna, which was to be found much later by the people of Genzano di Lucania.

How they came about to find this Madonna icon later just about everybody in Genzano seems to know some of this story, because it is a story that has been told from generation to generation, since they found this Madonna, so, just about everybody in Genzano could tell you their own version easily. Therefore, I had only to find a few names and a few dates to write my own version down, which I would like to tell you here and now.

-----------------------------------------------------------

The Madonna statue of Genzano

This is a close up of the Madonna of Genzano, it is not the Madonna they found in 1619, but it is the statue that we take around town at the Madonna feast. If you want to know more about this feast, visit Facebook click this photo and see more photos
This is a close up of the Madonna of Genzano, it is not the Madonna they found in 1619, but it is the statue that we take around town at the Madonna feast. If you want to know more about this feast, visit Facebook click this photo and see more photos | Source
The Madonna in the religious Procession at Genzano, this feast take place once a year for three days at the beginning of August.
The Madonna in the religious Procession at Genzano, this feast take place once a year for three days at the beginning of August.

Telling the Madonna story

One day in the year of our Lord 1619, there was this fourteen years old youth grazing some oxen in the fields of Genzano; his parents were of a good and honourable family, the youth name was; Pietro di Giovanni Filippo, and he happened to mind some oxen in the fields when this event happened, he was in the farming zone that we call Strippara, which is near Genzano town where this event took place, in fact it seems to me that he was at the very beginning of the chasm called ‘Del Monte’. So, while he was browsing his oxen there; a Lady all dressed in white appeared to him; and she told him that he should go and tell the people of Genzano that, they should go into the chasm near the fountain of Capo d’aqua and dig in the cave that was once known to have been in the vineyard of ‘Don Fabio’, and they would find her image there.

The youth went to town and told the people and the priest of the apparition of this great Lady, but they were not sure whether to believe him or not; so, nothing was done about it at that point of time. But after a few days or a week or two, the Lady in white appeared to the youth again; but this time she asked the youth to open his hand, and she wrote in his hand a message to the priest, she closed the youth hand and told him to go to the priest and show him that writing. The youth now with his closed fist that he could not or would not open for fear ran into the town and found the priest, and told him about the second apparition of the Lady in white, and that the Lady had written on his hand in his closed fist something; the priest took his hand to see and there in front of the priest he could open his hand again; and in his hand the priest could see the message which read (I am Maria Santissima Delle Grazie, and come to find me).

So, now the priest had no doubt in his mind from where that message was coming from, and he assembled the people of Genzano and told them the facts. A search was organized, and they dug in and around the said cave for a very long time, and not knowing exactly where else to dig, they also dug farther up the mountain, where they found some human remains and other object as evidence that a long time ago some eremites had been living there.

The search went on for about two long years and therefore they became tired of it. And it seemed to them at that time, that there was not a real Madonna image to be found, because the only image of a Madonna that they had found there, it was a Madonna traced over the sand which was slowly disappearing. And thinking that this would be all that they could find, they decided to give up the search, but at the same time they would build a small chapel in honour of this Madonna. But while they were digging the foundation for this chapel, a whole heap of very hard rock fell from the chasm’s wall above, which showed them that there was a smaller cave near the old cave higher up in the chasm’s wall, and in this small cave they found a few religious items, including a small image of St. Peter on a brick, but there was no Madonna image or large icon to be found.

-------------------------------------------

The small Madonna chapel below where they found the effigy

This is a restored Madonna chapel near Capo Daqua fountain where they found the sculpture
This is a restored Madonna chapel near Capo Daqua fountain where they found the sculpture

The Madonna is found

So, they decided to remove the fallen rocks and sort them out, so that they could use those rocks to build the chapel anyhow. And then the following happened; it happened the 25th day of March 1621 late in the afternoon, it was about the time when in the church they say this afternoon prayer called Vespers, at this time of the day most people that are in the country would pack up to go home. But there was a worker working at the fallen stone heap, and although he was tired he felt that he wanted to do just a little bit more before he would turn in, so, he kept working just a little bit extra: His name was ‘Giovanni Malatesta’ and he was digging with a pick to get the stones loose from the fallen heap of rocks, when he hit a very hard rock, and a beautiful aroma filled the air: he had struck with his pick the sculpture of the ‘Madonna with Child’. What a shock to this man must have been, when he realised that he struck with his pick the icon of the Madonna over the eye. They say that he never was the same man again from the shock, and it is said that he died early in his life not long after this event took place.

As soon as they realised that they had found the Madonna, somebody ran up the road to town, to let the people of Genzano know that they had finely found the Madonna icon, and the good news spread so fast, and most of the town’s folks went to see for themselves, even though it was already evening, and it soon would be dark.

The whole town was in feast for a very long time afterward.

All the religious authorities were in due time advised about the finding of the Madonna icon, and they took part in the prescribed religious events that followed. A Chapel was built on the spot where they had found the Madonna, with the intention that one day they would build a church there. After they found the icon of the Madonna with Child, many people came to adore this Madonna, they came from the surrounding towns and from far away towns and they received so many miracles from this Madonna, that would be hard to count their number. Of course, today’s people don’t believe in miracles, therefore they would not believe what we are saying here, but this is our folklore story that goes around Genzano town even these days.

---------------------------------------

Porta di Santo Antonio

This is the photo of one of the opening for the doors of the town that in the old days had massive doors, in the background we can see part the castle of Genzano
This is the photo of one of the opening for the doors of the town that in the old days had massive doors, in the background we can see part the castle of Genzano | Source

Taking the Madonna to town

But there is more to say about this event. The folklore story of this Madonna of Genzano says this story, when they took the Madonna to town. Now the following story is not the way how normal things happen, and therefore today people might not believe it, but then we have to think that here we are talking about Madonnas and therefore also miracles, we have to keep in mind that the people believed that it really happened the way that they have been told, so, let us tell you the story just the way it has been told and retold many times from the elders of the town.

The folklore story of this Madonna goes on to tell us, that while they were taking the Madonna effigy they had found at Capodaqua to the church, of Maria SS Della Platea in Genzano, which was the main church of the town of Genzano then, when they reached the entrance of the town, as you know in those times every town had their entrance doors that were shut at night to guard against thieves and assaults from outside, anyhow when they reached the entrance of the town the Madonna effigy became very heavy, it was so heavy that the bears had to stop and set the devise they were carrying the Madonna with on the ground.

Then when they tried to lift her off the ground again they could not lift her; so, the priest and the town authorities started to think, why this was happening and what they could do to fix this unseen problem, some wise man started saying that perhaps the Madonna wanted to be recognized that she was a very powerful spiritual being, and to recognize her the best thing to do was to give her the keys of the town and hope that this was what the Madonna wanted. So, somebody went to fetch the keys and placed the keys beside her effigy, and soon the effigy became light again and they were able to take her through the entrance of the town and into the church. This is one of the folklore stories of this Madonna; therefore, it is up to us, if we want to believe it or not; some of us today might think that the priest or the authorities tricked the people to believe all this, and here again is up to us to believe whatever we want to believe.

We need to say here again that believer are believers and they believe almost any religious thing that are being told; I am saying this because of the following event, I remember when I was young, at this same entrance where the Madonna came into Genzano town the first time; there are/were times when some peregrines would come to adore this Madonna with child, and they were bringing with them a little statue of a child, I don’t know exactly what all this meant, but there is a phrase in the Genzanese dialect “U bambnid d Frenz” meaning the little baby Jesus of Forenza. Now, Forenza is a town that would take several hours of walking to reach Genzano, and those peregrines did all this walking to come and adore this Madonna in Genzano, there were religious believers in those old days.

But there is more to say about this Madonna, it is about building the Madonna church, I am writing the story hereunder.

-------------------------------------------

Festivities of the Madonna of Genzano di Lucania

This is a photo of the feast taken in front of the church called (La chiesa della Madonna)
This is a photo of the feast taken in front of the church called (La chiesa della Madonna) | Source

The Madonna feast fancy lighting

Every year for there days they have this Madonna feast in Genzano, with special bands street lighting and fireworks.
Every year for there days they have this Madonna feast in Genzano, with special bands street lighting and fireworks. | Source

The orchestra stand for the festivities of our Madonna at Genzano

The feast of our Madonna at Genzano is something to see. This is only one photo, but if you would like to see what it is all about, you should try Facebook as there are several other photos to see, A link is also in my Facebook share for everybody.
The feast of our Madonna at Genzano is something to see. This is only one photo, but if you would like to see what it is all about, you should try Facebook as there are several other photos to see, A link is also in my Facebook share for everybody. | Source

The church of the Madonna

This is the church that the people of Genzano di Lucania built for their Madonna; Maria Santissima delle Grazie.
This is the church that the people of Genzano di Lucania built for their Madonna; Maria Santissima delle Grazie. | Source

Building the Madonna church

After a few years, from the day that they found the Madonna icon at Capodaqua back in 1621, somebody had a dream about the Madonna, where was understood that the Madonna wanted a church of her own, built on a hill nearby called ‘Montefreddo’, as it happened the night that the dreamer dreamed this dream it was snowing, but in the morning the snow had melted away everywhere except where the dreamer had dreamed that the Madonna wanted her church built. The dreamer told her dream to the people of Genzano, which then they understood and took notice of the strange event of the snow. Therefore, it was then decided that the new church would have to be built where that large patch of snow was left. And this is the reason why the church of this Madonna with child was built on this hill called, Montefreddo.

With the building of the Madonna church many more devotees came to adore this Madonna, and they prayed to her for graces and miracles; and many graces and miracles they received in return, so, this Madonna sanctuary grew and became well known all around the country for a few centuries, but then one day a fire broke out in the crowded church, because they had too many things going on at the same time and some people perished. After that it was closed for a while and then they fixed it and opened it again, but after that fire it was not as popular as before.

Nowadays, although this Madonna church has been damaged badly twice by earthquake and once by fire, as we have said above, it has been rebuilt and restored and it is still very popular, but not quite as much as it used to be, I suppose it is the sign of the times, because people nowadays don’t believe in religion as much as they used to do in the old times, when they found this Madonna.

Anyhow, today in the town of Genzano, we still celebrate a great feast for this Madonna, the yearly festivity for this Madonna are held for three days the first week-end in August. We will have to come back to tell you about these festivities later; because now I would like to tell you what the people of Genzano did after they found the Madonna Icon at Capo-D’aqua.

------------------------------------------------------

Capo D'daqua fountain

One of the two troughs with four spouts at the old fountain of Capo Daqua. For anyone interested in seeing how people used to build with rubble stones in the past, here is a good example, of course you can also see some repairs done lately.
One of the two troughs with four spouts at the old fountain of Capo Daqua. For anyone interested in seeing how people used to build with rubble stones in the past, here is a good example, of course you can also see some repairs done lately. | Source

Madonna chapel and fountain

The Madonna chapel and Capo-d'aqua fountain

Now to tell you what happened, let us go back at the site where they found the Madonna Icon and what the people of Genzano did, soon after they found this Madonna; we have already mentioned above that they were going to build a chapel, and so they built the chapel; but at the same time they built a larger fountain, because when they were digging to find the Madonna icon, they found another large spring of water, so, they channelled this water to make a larger fountain nearby that to these days is called Capo-d’aqua, because on the abundance of this spring waters.

Since then this fountain has been rebuilt and enlarged several times, one of this was about the year 1800, to serve the people of Genzano as the population was growing larger. The fountain has inscribed in a corner the name of a certain ‘Lepore’, perhaps he was the mayor of the town at the time when they built or rebuilt the fountain. As I said it is a large and abundant spring fountain situated just downstream from where they had found the Madonna, and just about where the chasm Del’monte and the Greek chasm meet, but well before they merge with St. St Antun chasm downstream.

The fountain was built as a simple country fountain, and it had five or six large troughs of about three-metre-long and one-metre-wide, all built of solid and simple masonry. There are reasons to believe that the people of Genzano have used a lot this outside town fountain, because there was no reticulated water in town in those old times.

So, this fountain was used in various ways, as there are two troughs which have three and four water sprouts each, which are fed from the spring and are constantly pouring water into the troughs. The two troughs with the sprouts are reserved for the animals to drink, and for those people that want to fill some sorts of vessels straight from the sprouts. From these two troughs then the water runs out into the rest of the troughs, and these secondary troughs were used to do the town’s washing, since there was no reticulated water in town in those times.

Capo-d’aqua fountain was very popular in the old times, there was even a song that a young girl used to sing happily, she would sing about the time when she would go to Capo-d’aqua fountain to do the washing. I can still remember a few of the dialect verses, and they go like this:

My Italian dialect verses.

Me chiam Rosa e teng vent’ann

E a Capodaqua ije lav li pann

Kess eij la dota ca me dai mam

na strecatora e na cest pei pann.

--------------------------------

English version

My name is Rose and I am twenty

And a Capo D’aqua I wash the clothes

This is the dowry that my mother gives me,

A scrubbing board and a basket for clothes.

---------------------------

There is a longer version of the washing lady written from the writer 'Angelo Valente' which must be a lot closer to the original; I am going to post it in my blog, http://genzanoit.blogspot.com/, once you open this link on the left side find a list of pages and click on, Poem the washing lady.

I believe that by now I have said enough about the Madonna with child of Genzano di Lucania, and the story of the fountain of Capo-D’aqua, situated in the town that I have come from. I hope that you my readers by now have got a good idea what it was like then, and also what was like over there when I was young. So, now I would like to talk about my own life and personal experience for a few more articles, before I migrated for Australia, and after that I will be telling you my life story when I was here in Australia.

© 2011 F-Menchise

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • F-Menchise profile imageAUTHOR

      F-Menchise 

      3 years ago from Brisbane Australia

      Thanks for commenting, it is good to know that somebody has read your article.

      Anyhow; I wish you a happy new year!

    • profile image

      Cade 

      3 years ago

      I thought I'd have to read a book for a dicrevosy like this!

    • F-Menchise profile imageAUTHOR

      F-Menchise 

      4 years ago from Brisbane Australia

      Hi, Sandy LePore Elliot, thank you for taking the time to comment on my hub, The Madonna story. I would have liked to say more about the Lepore family, but I have been away from the town of Genzano for over 50 years, so even for me is hard to recall everything, but what I can add here is that the fountain was restructured at the beginning of the 1800 and one of your forbear was involved in these works, perhaps he was the major of the town, and that is the reason that I have seen his name in a corner of the fountain. Now, let me talk about the LePore family from Genzano that would be in the USA. My wife may still have some cousins from the Lepore family that live in New York or New Jersey; at this point of time I don't remember all the details, but I will make a point to ask my wife, and if you would like to know about them, I will write these to you using your e mail address. Let me know if you like me to do it?

      May God bless you?

      My regards Frank.

    • profile image

      Sandy LePore Elliott 

      4 years ago

      Frank,

      I hope you are well. Your memories of Genzano have touched me deeply. My father came to America with his parents and siblings in 1909. My grandfather was Antonio LePore. My grandmother was Maria Garcia DiMarini.

      I did not know the story of the fountain. It was special to learn that a distant relative may have been connected with the spring where the Blessed Virgin appeared years earlier.

      Do you know any more about the LePore whose name was on the structure?

      My e-mail is Sandyelliottt@yahoo.com . I would love to hear from you about the land of my heritage.

      God bless you.

    • F-Menchise profile imageAUTHOR

      F-Menchise 

      6 years ago from Brisbane Australia

      Thanks soniacharam for taking the time to comment on my hub

    • profile image

      soniacharan 

      6 years ago from Mumbai,INDIA

      GREAT HUB!!!

      USEFUL AND FULL OF KNOWLEDGE..

      THANKS

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)