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The Madonna di Tagliavia: on Saturday 22 May the pilgrimage from Piana.

With great pleasure we inform you that also this year the tradition of pilgrimage to the Shrine of the Madonna del Rosario in Tagliavia will be maintained. Mr. Vittorio Pillitteri invited the faithful to meet on Saturday 22 May at 02:30 at the open space of the "Rotonda" bar in Piana degli Albanesi, to walk towards Tagliavia.

The sanctuary of the Madonna del Rosario di Tagliavia for centuries has been the destination of many pilgrims from neighboring countries. In these days of the Marian month, pilgrims gathered in a specific point of their country and set off in the middle of the night to reach the Shrine of Tagliavia in the early hours of the day.

The history of this Sanctuary has its roots in a story handed down over the centuries that refers to some boys who, removing a pile of boulders, found a slab of dark slate which they turned over, surprisingly discovering the image of the Madonna intent on donating to San Domenico. the sacred Rosary while Jesus offered Saint Catherine a crown of thorns.

The "miraculous" discovery of this sacred image quickly spread to the neighboring fiefdoms which fell within the possessions of the Archdiocese of Monreale. There was also talk of a miraculous source that favored the healing of the herds and the people who drank it.

The lay penitents were among the first to gather, without a rule, in Tagliavia. It was the Romiti who began the construction of low artifacts designed to shelter them and the pilgrims.

It was King Ferdinand I of Bourbon who gave impetus to the construction of the Sanctuary of the Madonna del Rosario in Tagliavia. Apparently he himself benefited from the "miraculous" water which solved one of his ailments. It was the Bourbon king who donated the land, an annual endowment and other rights to the Romiti who in the meantime had begun to build the Sanctuary, which allowed them to complete the construction of the Sanctuary which was inaugurated on May 1, 1845.

From that moment the Sanctuary of Tagliavia was a destination for endless wanderings. It was located in an important crossroads of roads and paths crossed every day by thousands of people who worked in the fields and who found in this Sanctuary a spiritual, topographical and social reference.

The management of the Sanctuary was maintained by the Romiti until 1965 and then in fact also the hermitage was depopulated and the church was maintained by some faithful and by a merchant who always kept his trade in a small space which then became an emporium and then a general store with a bar.

Since February 2012 by the will of the Archbishop of Monreale Di Cristina the Sanctuary

was entrusted to the Mariana family of "the Cinque Pietre".

We wish to thank Mr. Vito Pillitteri and all the faithful who will participate to keep alive this tradition which is part of our cultural identity.

Salvatore Vasotti




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