26th December : Our Lady Of Acheropita

Our Lady Of Acheropita

Country : Italy

Year : 1949

Tradition has it that one night a woman in great brightness appeared to a watchman on duty where a new church was being built in Rossano Italy.  She asked him to withdraw from the place.  The next morning there was seen in the building a picture of the Blessed Virgin, painted, not by the hand of man.  For that reason it came to be called Acheropita.

The latest historical research has established that the image of Acheropita—a fresco on a pillar—was to be found in a small chapel near the cave of one of the many hermits who formed the aura of St. Nicholas of Vallone.  It became an object of veneration for the people of Rossano and a new church had to be built to satisfy popular piety in a more worthy manner.

The first title or name given to the image was that of Odigitria.  It came to be called Acheropita for the first time around 1140.

On May 26, 1949, the diocesan cathedral was erected at the shrine.  From August 16 to October 16, 1949, a silver statue of Our Lady was carried on a triumphal pilgrimage through the archdiocese.

On June 18, 1950, Cardinal Micara crowned the statue.