Custonaci – The Sanctuary
Standing on top of a hillock, the center of the city plan. For his features rises majestically. It is assumed already existed in this place a shrine dedicated to the Immaculate Mother of God, in or near a tower–fortress.
It gave the beginning to the manufacture of the Sanctuary in the second half of 1500. Several changes made over the years to this sacred building. The most impressive are those com–piute from benefices Rizzo, between 1877 and 1900, and the new liturgical area built in 2012.
It is the womb from which it was born and has formed the town, its heart, is an expression of the love that God has for this people:
“Let them make me a sanctuary
and I will dwell in their midst” (Cf. Es 25,8).
The picture, painted in oil on wood prepared with gesso, dates from the fifteenth century, probably the work of the School of Antonello da Messina. John Monte, however, it goes back even to St. Luke the Evangelist Luke or the Ghost. The origin of the Framework is lost in time and legend. According to the consistent and unanimous tradition, a ship sailed from Alexandria for France, he was caught in a terrible storm and miraculously landed in the bay of Buguto, at Mount Hood, where the sailors had made a vow to leave the sacred image erecting a chapel. To protect it from the incursions of the Turks, however, decided to take her to the nearby Custonaci, which then took the grand title. The beautiful effigy, was solemnly encour-quires by the Vatican Chapter in 1752 and is still revered in many locations.
Worship and Celebration
The festivities in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Custonaci were beginning in 1752, the year of solemn coronation. Before this date, for centuries the only party at the same date was that of the Immaculate Conception, December 8. At first it was a custom to celebrate the festival in the last days of August, then, with the letters of the Bishop Mgr. Ugo Pape in 1785 on commission from the Holy Father, the holiday was designated for the last Wednesday of August, the day on which the recitation of the office and putting their own, legally and precept. 1785 was the year of the first festival procession and the last Wednesday of August.
The festivities in honor of Maria SS. of Custonaci were from the beginning something unique. The party, in fact, is not the common and consists of 4 days. The Sunday before the last Wednesday of August opens the festivities. On this day, before the solemn Eucharistic celebration, the Mayor of Custonaci recites a prayer of entrustment, lights a candle and the keys to the city. The priest, however, does depose the head of the Holy Virgin and the infant Jesus crowns in 1700. Monday is the day on which recreates the legendary landing place of the sacred in “Cala Buguto” Framework. It is welcomed in prayer by thousands and thousands of faithful pilgrims come to this place. Followed by a torchlight procession to the Sanctuary. On Tuesday we solemnly celebrate the First Vespers. Wednesday is the day of the party. Holy Mass in the morning and in the afternoon the procession through the streets of the city. On this day, in our sanctuary, you can obtain a plenary indulgence.