Reggio Emilia | Blessed Virgin of the Ghia... - Secret World

Corso Giuseppe Garibaldi, 44, 42121 Reggio Emilia RE, Italia

Daisy Vikander


The sanctuary of the Blessed Virgin of the Ghiara is located in the centre of Reggio Emilia and beats in the hearts of the citizens of Reggiani. The deep bond between the city and the sanctuary has ancient origins. This extraordinary monument of faith in fact arose after a prodigious miracle. It was the year 1596 when the young Marchino, a fifteen year old boy deaf-mute from birth and without a tongue, born in Castelnuovo Monti in the Apennines of Reggio Emilia, went in the morning hours of April 29th in prayer before the image of the Madonna della Ghiara, at that time painted on the wall of the garden of the Servants of Mary. Garrisoned by a town undertaker, the young Marchino, absorbed in prayer, was suddenly miraculously cured. He regained his hearing, immediately grew his tongue and was granted the use of the word. A miracle widely documented by the acts of the canonical process instituted the same year by the bishop, with the approval of the then Pope Clement VIII. The following year the construction of the basilica was begun by the architect Alessandro Balbo and Francesco Pacchioni. Today the basilica summarizes, with the cycle of frescoes and stuccoes, all the great painting and art of the early seventeenth century Emilian, miraculously preserved in its intact integrity. A feminine sanctuary, everything leads back to the maternal figure of the Madonna, still today the image that miraculated the young Marchino and venerated in the sumptuous chapel of the temple Mariano. A crown, a splendid work of goldsmithery, was donated in 1674 by the community of Reggio to the Madonna for having preserved the city from the plague, is preserved and visible in the museum. The sanctuary, in addition to the cycle of frescoes, also preserves the Crucifixion of Christ with the Madonna and Saints at his feet by Giovanni Francesco Barbieri known as Guercino.