Madonna of the Miracles
Feast of the Madonna the Miracles
Piazza Manfredi Chiaramonte a steep descent known as the "Descent of the
Madonna", from the procession, leads to the Madonna dei Miracoli church, the
finest and most important in the village.
This was a church born of a legend, as we are told by an ancient manuscript
at the San Domenico monastery.
On 8 September 1530 a miracle occurred at Mussomeli: a poor paralytic who
was travelling on a mule's back, halted, tired, in the shade of a tree and
fell asleep with his crutches beside him.
Here, the legend says, "when he awoke he discovered that his movements were
free and that he could walk without the help of his crutches.
Amazed at being healed he began to shout out that a miracle had been
A lot of people came running out of the village and, seeking the cause of
the prodigy, on a stone among brambles they found the image of the Virgin
Mary with Child; they adored her and called her the Madonna of Miracles."
At first this devotion was only expressed with prayers, but afterwards a
chapel was built and the eighth of September was chosen as the feast of the
patron saint of the village. Inside the present-day Madonna dei Miracoli
church, a baroque construction dating from 1724 and built by the Dominican
fathers, there is a Virgin Mary with Child painted on stone which still
today is visited by the faithful in the crypt of the sanctuary: it was
restored in the eighteenth century by the painter Domenico Provenzano from
Palma di Montechiaro.
Other works by Provenzano to be admired are a big fresco in the vault,
signed and dated 1750, an oil canvas on the right altar and, in the sacristy,
the portrait of the Dominican father Biondolillo.
In the sanctuary there are kept some wooden statues, done in the nineteenth
century by Francesco Biancardi: a Madonna of Miracles on the high altar and
a Madonna of the Rosary in the sacristy.
From an earlier period, i.e. from the sixteenth century, there date the St.
Joseph which is on display in a side chapel and another Madonna of Miracles
kept in the crypt.
The attached Dominican monastery has been restructured and still preserves
the charm of a monastery, but no longer houses the religious, and in future
will be used for exhibitions and other cultural events.