Madonna Della Guardia
Near the top of Mount Figogna in the Italian Alps there is located a very beautiful shrine called Madonna Della Guardia.
A few years before Columbus discovered America an Italian shepherd, after a morning of hard work, sat in the shade of a tree to await his wife who was bringing his lunch. A shaft of light pierced the heavens above him. Our Blessed lady appeared to him, holding her Divine Son in her arms. To his amazement she spoke to him. Her message was that he was to see to it that a church and shrine be built in her honor on this spot. How he, a poor shepherd, could accomplish this, he did not know. But at that moment he trusted the Mother of God.
When his wife came with his lunch, he told her of his vision. She laughed at him, exclaiming that the sun was so hot that it must have affected him; like many a man before him, he took refuge in the safest of all weapons, silence. He decided he would do nothing about the shrine. Peace in the family came first.
The next day while climbing a tree to pick some fruit, he fell and was severely injured. While in agony he promised that he would work for the building of a chapel. All of a sudden, Our Lady appeared to him, again telling him that his fall was a punishment, and requested her shrine. Immediately he was cured.
The chapel and shrine were built according to the instructions of Our Lady. But because of the number of pilgrims who flocked to it, it was soon too small. Several others, larger and more ornate, have been built on the spot since. And devotion to the Madonna della Guardia has grown steadily—not only among the Italian people, but throughout the world, for many pilgrims have come to pay their homage to Our Blessed Lady.
As she does at most of her favorite shrines, Our Lady has rewarded the love and devotion of her children. The shrine of the Madonna della Guardia has been witness to many extraordinary favors and miracles obtained through the intercession of Our Lady.