The Minor Basilica of
Our Lady of Sorrows (in Italian, Basilica Santuario di Maria Santissima
Addolorata) was built in Castelpetroso
– in the province of Isernia, Molise – to commemorate the Marian apparitions recorded in 1888, when two
young shepherdesses, Serafina and Bibiana, saw Mary in Cesa tra Santi, on the slopes
of Mount Patalecchia. With the miraculous episodes that followed the event, the
area became a place of worship; in 1973, Pope Paul VI declared Our Holy Lady of
Sorrows of Castelpetroso the patron of the whole region.
Construction of the Sanctuary began in 1890 a little further down the hill, to allow pilgrims to reach the church – which today extends over 2,800 square meters. The building is Neo-gothic in style and has a radial floor plan with seven chapels, representing the swords that pierce the heart of Our Lady of Sorrows. The central dome of the Basilica is 54 meters tall, and decorated with mosaics that represent the saints most venerated in Molise, the evangelists and the prophets
The major chapel features a raised floor, a polychrome marble altar and a richly decorated aedicula, known as the “Throne”, with the Simulacrum of Our Holy Lady of Sorrows of Castelpetroso. However, the most wonderful part of the Basilica is perhaps its famous Neo-gothic façade, with the two impressive bell towers and three frontal sections with triangular cusps, where majestic, finely decorated bronze portals stand out.
Sanctuary Basilica of Our
Lady of Sorrows of
Via Santuario, Castelpetroso (IS)