The preparations are well underway. Since last week, the Sanctuary of the Black Madonna of Tindari, high on its promotory, has been holding nine successive days of prayer and meditation in preparation for the feast day, September 8. On September 7, in recognition of the mysterious Madonna Bruna from the east, devotees will hold a vigil that includes a grand procession of the sacred Byzantine statue through the streets of the seaside village, followed by a magnifiscent fireworks display, and finally, a number of solemn Eucharist celebrations throughout the day on September 8.
The Madonna Bruna, or Black Madonna (pictured here as souvenirs), attracts tens of thousands of pilgrims each year. The sanctuary sits where an ancient temple to the mother earth goddess Cybele once stood.