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Tú estás aquí: Home > Dónde ir > Tesoros del arte y de la historia > Catedrales, iglesias, santuarios > Church and Sanctuary Madonna del Sabato
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XVII Siglo
 Catedrales, iglesias, santuarios
 La ciudad   Otros bienes en ciudad
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strada comunale minervino lavello - Minervino Murge (Bat)
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The Church of the Madonna del Sabato, the protector of the city, was built around the mid 17th century on a grotto excavated from the  tuff rock on the spot where an image of the Virgin and Child was found painted on the walls which now can be admired above the altar of the crypt.
Some legends narrate how such a work was found: The first one tells that during a hunting expedition in which Prince Pignatelli, the Baron of the city, participated, a dog got in a fissure of the terrain and never returned. Guided by the barking of the animal, someone from the party realized that it was a grotto and it was here that the image on the wall was found. From then on the Madonna del Sabato was proclaimed Patron of Minervino, a privilege that might have been formerly held by the Vergine Assunta.
Most probably, however the cult of the Madonna del Sabato was introduced by itinerant shepherds. This hypothesis was reinforced by the testimony of a group of villagers from Vastogirardi (IS) who identified the Madonna del Sabato with the Madonna delle Grazie, a very dear effigy for Molise shepherds that used to bring it along with them in their seasonal movements.
The first rural chapel was erected around the mid 17th century with the patronage of Prince Marzio Pignatelli, the brother of Pope Innocent XII, as can be seen from the stone coats of arms of the princely family found on the arch that straddles the skylight between the two sides of the building.
The sanctuary was completed at the end of the 18th century with the final building over the grotto which is done in Neoclassical style and comprisies a wide nave of more than 250 square metres. Two valuable paintings are kept here. The Sanctuary is located 1 Km from the urban centre.
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