May 8 - Our Lady of Pompeii

Our Lady of Pompeii (I)

In the autumn of 1872, Bartolo Longo (a lawyer, born in Latiana, Italy on February 11, 1841) arrived at the plain of Pompeii to take care of the affairs of Countess Marianna Farnararo De Fusco. Bartolo was determined to evangelize the people of Pompeii. With the help of his wife, he inaugurated a confraternity of the Rosary and sought an image of the Blessed Virgin before which the Rosary could be recited every day. He obtained one as a gift from a religious of the Monastery of the Rosary in Porta Medina. The painting had modest artistic merit and was in very poor condition. It portrayed Our Lady of the Rosary, with Saint Dominic and Saint Catherine of Siena. The painting was provisionally exposed in a small chapel, but in that same month Bartolo Longo received permission from the Bishop of Nola to build a new church. Miracles were reported and pilgrimages began to frequent the shrine, which was consecrated on May 8, 1891. Bartolo Longo addressed an appeal to the faithful: "In this place selected for its prodigies, we wish to leave a monument to the Queen of Victories to present and future generations."

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