5th January : Our Lady Of Abundance Or Prosperity, Italy

Our Lady Of Abundance Or Prosperity, Italy

Country : Italy

Year : 1641

The Blessed Virgin under the above title is venerated at Cursi, Italy.  The story begins in the first half of the seventeenth century.  At that time the Puglie region of Italy was suffering from a severe drought.  For almost three years not a drop of rain had fallen.  By the spring of 1641, matters were desperate.  April had arrived and the heat was as in mid-summer.  Thus prospects for relief and a good harvest that year appeared dim.

Then the people of Cursi and vicinity prayed fervently to the Blessed Mother, begging her to come to their aid and save them from the famine that drew ever nearer.  She heard their plea.  She appeared to a shepherd, Baglio Orlando Natali.  Thoroughly frightened by the appearance of the lovely lady, he ran away.  She called him back, reassured him and told him she was the Queen of Heaven, sorry for the misfortune that had befallen him and his fellow-citizens.  She told Baglio to go to the pastor of the parish, and tell him in her name to assemble all the people of Cursi and come with them to this place.  Here on this spot she wished a Church to be erected.  When it was completed she would take Cursi and the surrounding section under her protection.  As a token of her deep regard, that very year there would be a harvest of such abundance as none had ever seen before.  Finally she told Baglio that he was to change his way of life, for she had selected him to be her true follower, and that he was to serve in the new Church when it would be completed.  So saying, she vanished as suddenly as she had appeared.

Baglio lost no time in telling the pastor of this strange happening.  The good Father gathered together the people, and led by Baglio, they all marched to the spot where the Virgin had appeared.  There they fell to their knees and with one voice raised their hearts in prayers of praise and love to the Most Holy Virgin.  After some little time they re-assembled and started on the return march to the town.  They had gone but a short distance, when a little cloud drifted into sight – then another, until the entire sky was overcast.  Rain fell and drenched the whole crowd; but not one minded – in fact, all were so happy, that they laughed and shouted and played around in the downpour.  It rained for three days.

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