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The Odigitria Madonna by Father Francesco Fazio

Updated: Aug 8, 2022

Reordering a section of the archives of the Collegio di Maria, I found some very rare volumes published in 1921. It is the small volume La Madonna Odigitria by Father Francesco Fazio, which in addition to being, as I believe, the only text that deals with the cult in such a complete way della Madonna a Piana degli Albanesi, also represents the fruit of a happy and extraordinary meeting between four minds enlightened and inspired by the Odigitria that did so much to give dignity to the culture of the Albanians of Sicily in the first twenty years of the last century just when a substantial migratory movement began to the United States.

The volume was written by the hand of the well-known preacher Father Fazio who in May 1920 was in Piana dei Greci (as it was then called Piana degli Albanesi) to preach the glories of Mary.

To deepen his studies, Father Fazio attended the Sanctuary of the Madonna Odigitria where he met Papas Petta who was admired by the figure of this preacher and his meticulous research on the cult and devotion of Maria SS. Odigitria which under the title of Itria is still revered in almost all of Sicily.

These two religious worked together for a long time because Father Fazio was eager to learn as much as possible about the Madonna venerated in Piana degli Albanesi and Papas Petta was a great connoisseur of news, legends and places related to Odigitria.

A relationship based on mutual admiration was established immediately between the two and Papas Petta provided every news, every pious legend, every photo and every possible source to the learned Father Fazio who wanted to leave his living testimony of the deep cult of the Madonna Odigitria in Piana Greek gods. The scholar immediately understood that the Madonna Odigitria since the foundation of this community has represented the sacred Palladio for his people and for this reason he intended to publish a volume that would always keep this cult alive for the population who still lived there and for the many who in those years began to emigrate to the United States.

The volume that we present here was the extraordinary result of this collaboration between the two religious and their curious and God-inspired minds. now it no longer exists and not only in the name and the detailed description of traditions and physical places that now belong only to our memory and to this modern Piana degli Albanesi.

At this point in history, the Most Reverend Sister Maria Nicolina Carnesi Superior of the Collegio di Maria intervened, who with the funds of the College decided to give to the press the booklet written by Father Fazio with the collaboration of Papas Zefi Petta and the translations into Albanian made by hand. by the illustrious professor Giuseppe Schirò, whose volume Songs of the Albanian Colonies of Sicily had already been published and again thanks to the Collegio di Maria.

The Volume of Father Fazio is still a very current and unmissable concentrate of history, news, photographs and curiosities about the cult of the Madonna Odigitria of Piana degli Albanesi.

A small but very rare treasure that cannot be missing in your library because it is one of the last original volumes of 1921. Ideal for collectors or for those who want to have something unique on Piana degli Albanesi.

Salvatore Vasotti

By purchasing this volume you can concretely support the protection of the heritage of the Collegio di Maria di Piana degli Albanesi.




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