When we talk of the love of bearing a child we talk of the hope, dignity and life we invest in that love.
Poster of the event
A teardrop flowing from such love is both clear and salty and can mean happiness or sadness. When such a tear is also one of blood that love can become never-ending pain and despair.
On 30 March 2015 in Loreto Aprutino the story of Mary’s tears will be retold. Mary the mother we all know well, a mother who raised a son knowing that sooner or later he would leave her, and not to be with another woman. Mary’s greatness lies in her having accepted this and having loved her son anyway, for recognising that she was chosen for a miracle and not condemned to it. For having endured the pain of his last breath and then for days on end until finally God took pity on her and allowed her the opportunity of holding him once again in her arms, in another life, far from the crowds that had always surrounded her favoured son, Jesus.
Santa Maria in Piano Church
That which the “Company of Friends” will accomplish on the Monday before Easter, 30 March, at 6pm, is as exciting as it is particular. According to graffiti inside the Santa Maria in Piano church, on 15 June 1533 tears of blood seeped from the Madonna della Pieta. With this as their starting point, Professor Panzone, Professor Pagliarello and the Architect Mr Santangelo, will take us on a journey through Christianity and art.
Professor Alessandro Panzone, as founder of the group, will introduce “The Company” and tell us about how he began his training as a result of the achievements of his uncle Don Romeo Panzone many years ago. Don Panzone was a distinguished man of faith and theology, whose roles included Superior General of the Family of Disciples, and a member of the National Opera for Southern Italy.
The 1553 Graffiti
Professor Pagliarello will follow, giving a brief outline of the historical context to the ‘miraculous’ occurrences to the statue of the Pieta (Mary holding the body of Christ), the oldest of which happened in 1533 according to the graffiti in the chapel of Francesco d’Aquino («1533 a dì 15 di iugno fece li miracoli Scta Maria et gettò lacrime co sangue a l’occhi et a dì 17 alluminò uno ceco»). (On 15th June 1533 a miracle happened and St Mary spurted tears of blood from her eyes and on the 17th a blind man regained his sight).
Mr Santangelo the Architect will talk about the artistic history of the statue, which fits into the so called “Vesperbild” genre, German made or influenced sculptures depicting the theme of the Pietà.
No one knows what could have upset the Soul of this Mother so much that she relived that pain (Dolore di Sangue). And so, although here we are living in this strange time, victims of consumerism, economic crises, of a frenetic lifestyle that too easily overlooks acts of violence, the meeting of this group can make us think. In this Holy Week, an important week for the Christian community, with courage and without any help from political forces, these Friends will talk to and teach their fellow citizens about the Mystery of this wooden statue that silently towers over the main alter in one of the most important churches of the region, mostly known for its fresco of the Last Judgement.
With this event the ‘Friends’ take their first step, let’s hope they are followed by others for the protection, enhancement and promotion of this beautiful story, just as Pope Francesco is encouraging for the story of Christianity with the Jubilee.
We would therefore like to invite you in numbers to come and witness this event which takes place the day after the re-enactment of the “Via Crucis Figurata 2015” on Palm Sunday 29 March at 7pm, and ahead of “Lu Giuviddì Sande – Canti di questua sulla Passione” and the Good Friday procession.
(*) translated by Gail K.