The Sanctuary of Re, Val Vigezzo

28856 Re VB, Italy

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Re is one of the most picturesque villages in the Vigezzo Valley, lying at an altitude of 710 m a.s.l. just over 7 km from Switzerland. It is a true centre of devotion in the valley and a site of pilgrimage to its imposing sanctuary, dedicated to the Madonna of the Blood. Where the sanctuary now stands there was once a small parish church, dedicated to San Maurizio, with an image of the Virgin and Child painted on the façade. Legend has it that while playing a game, a man called Giovanni Zuccone threw a stone which hit the image of the Virgin, whereupon the image began to bleed and continued bleeding for twenty days. The Bishop of Novara accordingly decided to transform the church into a sanctuary. Building work started in1922 and finished in 1958. The ancient miraculous image of the Virgin from the church of San Maurizio is kept on the high altar, which is Baroque and made entirely of marble. A tabernacle at the back of the altar holds some of the blood said to have issued from the Virgin’s forehead. © iStock / fotoember

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