Our Lady Of Grace
Country : Italy
High up in the Sabine Mountains of Italy, about 35 miles from Rome, stands an ancient and venerable Shrine of our Lady under the title of Our Lady Mentorella, Mother of Grace. To Italian peasants who dwell in the surrounding country the place upon which the shrine stands is simply known as Mentorella.
The place and Shrine of Mentorella are considered sacred because as a tradition tells us at the great cliff just behind the shrine, the miraculous conversion of Placid, an officer in the army of Trajan, who was later to be called St. Eustace, took place. He there beheld, it is said, Our Lord crucified between the antlers of a great stag, which as a huntsman he had pursued.
The Shrine of Our Lady of Mentorello, Mother of Grace, was built about a thousand years ago though various objects of religion contained therein are much older. The statue of Our Lady encased in glass and placed upon the marble baldachino of the main altar, dates back at least to the twelfth century. Mentorella’s greatest claim to renown lies in the fact that the shrine is a place of pilgrimage and of special devotion to the Blessed Mother of God. The original church was built by Constantine and consecrated by Pope St. Sylvester.
Tradition has it that St. Benedict lived for some time before he founded the famous monastery of Subiaco, in a cave immediately behind the Mentorella church.