She was Dark and Beautiful

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This morning, a wish of mine was granted when we stopped in the town of Custonaci (Trapani Province) to visit the Sanctuary of Maria SS. di Custonaci. I wrote extensively about this Madonna–a Black Madonna–in August. You can read that post here. True to what many scholars who have studied the folklore of the Black Madonna, this painting was restored 13 years ago, and as our guide at the church explained, “Before, she looked completely different.” In other words, before, she was a lot darker!

In this land of Venus, it’s no surprise to me that our guide today confirmed all that I’ve researched and learned talking with locals. The Madonna of Custonaci belongs on the list of Black Madonnas, i.e., iconography representing the sensual, fertile mother goddess.

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