Local sanctuaries and regional pilgrimages abound in Italy. At the origin of most of them is a miraculous event or special grace. The foundational event is kept alive in the collective memory of the people by means of yearly festivals, processions, and other celebrations. Given that this blog is dedicated to the Vultus Christi, the Holy Face of Christ, I want to recall today the anniversary of just such an event and the shrine that grew out it.
Flora Romano De Santis (1899–1969) and her husband Ernesto De Santis, a devout couple living at Capodimonte in Naples, subscribed to a number of Catholic periodicals. On the cover of an issue of Crociata Missionnaria (Missionary Crusade), Flora noticed a beautiful image of the Face of Christ, a reproduction of a painting by the artist Rina Maluta. It was nothing more than a magazine cover, but Flora and her husband were strangely moved by the divine beauty of the Face. Flora cut out the image, framed it, and gave it a place of honour in her bedroom. This is not the first time that a common, printed reproduction