24th April : Our Lady Of Bonaria (Good Air)

Our Lady Of Bonaria (Good Air)

Country : Italy

Year : 1370

The shrine of Our Lady of Bonaria (Good Air) dates back to the latter years of the fourteenth century, at Cagliari, on the island of Sardinia.

According to tradition, on March 25, 1370, enroute from Spain to Italy, a ship ran into a terrific storm at a spot some miles off the coast of Sardinia.  Soon the ship seemed in imminent danger of sinking, and the sailors in a last desperate effort to save her, began to get rid of the cargo.

When they heaved a large packing case into the sea, the waves immediately died down and the sea became calm.  The ship was saved.  The case floated away, and pushed by the tides, eventually landed on the shore of Sardinia at the foot of a hill called Bonaria.

There the Mercy Fathers found it and took it to their church, where it was opened in the presence of a large group of people, and, to the surprise of all, they found it contained a beautiful statue of the Virgin and Child.  Thus, a prophecy was fulfilled—the church had been built around 1330 by Father Carlo Catalan, while he was the ambassador to the Argonese Court.  At the dedication he told the monks, “A Great Lady will come to live in this place.  After her coming, the malaria infecting this area will disappear and her image will be called the Virgin of Bonaria.”

So when the statue floated in from the sea, and the Fathers placed it in their church, remembering what Father Carlo had said, they named it Our Lady of Good Air.

The statue is in colored wood, probably of Spanish workmanship.  Pius X in 1908, declared Our Lady of Bonaria the patron Saint of Sardinia.

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