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Italy’s “Black Madonna”

Black Madonna, photo by Elizabeth Hey

Statues or paintings of the Virgin Mary with dark or black skin and European features were often made in Italy during the 13th and 14th centuries. Some claim that these representations hold miraculous powers.

At Oropa Sanctuary’s chapel, the 13th-century black Madonna holds a golden apple (signifying original sin) in one hand and baby Jesus (signifying redemption) in the other. Several large halls at Oropa are lined with photos and artwork depicting modern-day healings and miracles attributed to prayers offered to the “Black Madonna.”

For more on Italy:

Passion for Italy
Italy’s purest water

Elizabeth Hey

Elizabeth Hey is a member of Midwest Travel Journalists Association and has received numerous awards for her writing and photography. Follow her on Instagram and Facebook @travelbyfork.