Loquis: The Madonna of Mentorella Sanctuary in Capranica Prenestina

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The Madonna of Mentorella Sanctuary in Capranica Prenestina


Published on:  2018-03-10 14:13:00


It is a breath-taking mystical haven, which enchants the visitor with its historical and spiritual memories. It is thought to be the oldest sanctuary in Europe, rising on a rocky spur of the Prenestini Mountains, and surrounded by Sanctuaries dedicated to Saint Benedict. The original structure was founded in the 4th century by Constantine on the site of Saint Eustachio's conversion. In the nearby church visitors can see the natural grotto where Saint Benedict lived for two years. The building dates back to the 13th century and displays a characteristic gable façade with ogival windows. In the centre, a niche elevated on small columns contains a ray oculus. On 20 October 1978 John Paul II, who had only recently been elected as Pope, went on his first Marian Pilgrimage to the Sanctuary of Mentorella. The Wojtyla Trail The path cherished by John Paul II starts on the right side of the road, close to Pisoniano. The ascent makes its way through a magic landscape of small waterfalls surrounded by the red rock of Morra Rossa, among ferns, musk and berries typical of butcher's broom. To arrive at Mentorella, visitors must follow a series of bends for approximately 10 minutes.

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