What to see in Boccadirio, itinerary including the Sanctuary of the Blessed Virgin of the Graces with the miraculous image of the Madonna, the cloister and the facade, with the story of the prodigious apparition that occurred to the two shepherd children.
In the municipality of Castiglione dei Pepoli, a hamlet of Baragazza in the province of Bologna, in an area bordering Tuscany, stands the Sanctuary of the Beata Vergine delle Grazie di Boccadirio.
At the bottom of a secluded valley, surrounded by the mountains of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines, at 719 meters above sea level, the Sanctuary is located at the mouth of two streams which, joining at that point, gave the name to the town of Boccadirio, where in 1480 the Madonna appeared to two shepherd children, Donato Nutini and Cornelia Vangelisti.
While keeping the animals grazing, the two children used to gather in prayer at certain times of the day.
It was precisely in one of these moments of spiritual recollection that Our Lady appeared wrapped in white robes.
Approaching she said to Donato that she had to become a priest, as it happened, and to Cornelia to become a nun, showing her the shape and the site of the monastery where she would later become a nun.
In addition, Our Lady asked that a temple be built in her honor at the place of the apparition, promising protection and thanks to those who would have attended it with devotion.
The people of Baragazza, the hamlet in which Boccadirio is located, immediately had a church built in honor of the Holy Virgin.
This small building was later demolished, as the current 16th century sanctuary was erected, which was modified and enlarged in the following centuries, where the attractive external cloister with arches and the facade designed by Aristotle Puccetti stand out.
Inside the church, on the main altar, there is the miraculous image, a glazed terracotta depicting the Madonna delle Grazie, attributed to Andrea della Robbia, made for the Sanctuary by Cornelia, the visionary who became a nun with the name of Sister Brigida in the Monastery of Santa Caterina in Prato.
The Virgin is represented sitting, half-length, with the Child standing on his knees.Recommended readings
- Brisighella (Emilia Romagna): what to see
- Grazzano Visconti (Emilia Romagna): what to see
- Castelnovo ne ’Monti (Emilia Romagna): what to see
- Canossa (Emilia Romagna): what to see
- Emilia Romagna: Sunday day trips
At the top, four cherubs crown, with a dove in the center, a symbol of the Holy Spirit.