Titolo: Santuario Madonna della Stella - Cerreto di Spoleto

Santuario Madonna della Stella - Cerreto di Spoleto

The church of Santa Croce (now the Sanctuary of the Madonna della Stella) is located in the Walnut Valley, isolated in an agricultural setting, and not far from the village of Cerreto of Spoleto. The current building, built on a primitive chapel of the eighth century, dates back to 1308.

According to tradition, the chapel originally belonged to the Farfa Abbey, later transferred to the San Pietro in Valle Abbey; the monks settled there and they dedicated the oratory to St Benedict.

In 1294 the oratory and the monastery passed to the Lateran Chapter.

The fourteenth century church began as a hermitage for monks of St. Augustine. The construction of the church as well as the refectory and monastic cells were made by excavating into the rock. The interior has a single nave, fourteenth century frescoes, one of them depicting the Blessed Simone Fidati.

The entire complex was abandoned in 1652 and fell into very bad condition until 1833, when, restored following some miraculous episodes, it became known as the Sanctuary of the Madonna della Stella. The sanctuary was opened to worship the first Sunday of May to the first Sunday in June (during the Marian month). In this period the processions from neighboring countries flocked there. An element of veneration was the bloodied stone; according to the oral tradition, the stone broke away from the vault of the cave and struck a pilgrim who remained unscathed. In the sanctuary the clothes of miraculous survivors were displayed as a sign of grace received.

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