Since last Sunday, the town of Custonaci in Trapani Province has been celebrating their venerated Madonna. The 10-day celebration concludes on Wednesday, August 31, when devotees process the portrait of Maria SS. di Custonaci through the City of Marble’s streets. Legend is, that in the early 15th century, a painting of the Virgin and Child Jesus came on a ship from Alexandria, Eygpt. The sailors had miraculously survived a storm, having landed on the beach at Custonaci, and they voted to leave the painting as thanks to the Madonna for delivering them ashore safely. Horses charged with carrying the painting were making their way from the beach up to the top of Mount San Giuliano, to the town of Erice, yet they stopped and laid in place, refusing to move. That place was Custonaci. To the townspeople, it was a sign that this is where the Super Saint wanted her sanctuary built. And so it was.
The legend of Maria SS. di Custonaci (illustrated here in her Sanctuary) is one reminiscent of many other iconic Madonnas. For more background, read last year’s post.