Sanctuary of Our Lady of Tears in Syracuse

Sanctuary of Our Lady of Tears in Syracuse

Simone Tinella - CC4.0


 Via del Santuario, 33 - Siracusa (SR)

The Sanctuary of the Madonna delle Lacrime di Siracusa was erected in memory of the miraculous event which saw in 1953, in a humble house in Syracuse, weep a plaster effigy of the Virgin Maria, placed at the bedside of two Syracusan spouses. The miraculous event was repeated from 29 August to 1 September of that year. The tears, collected and subjected to all kinds of medical-scientific analyzes and tests carried out by a medical commission appointed by the Archbishopric of Syracuse, were similar to those of humans.
The sanctuary is a monumental tall conical structure 74 meters . The circular plan of the building, with an external diameter of 80 meters, has 18 entrances and houses the lower church or crypt and the upper church or sanctuary, whose base is supported by 22 reinforced concrete beams.
Inside the Lower church , in the center, is the high altar, on which the little picture of the Madonnina reigns. The reliquary exhibited in a reliquary placed on the high altar is the heart of the sanctuary, because it contains the Tears of Mary .
In the side aisles of the crypt there are eight chapels dedicated to Saint Lucia, in Sant 'Agata, in San Corrado, to SS. Peter and Paul, the Crucifix, the Holy Family, St. Francis of Assisi and the Blessed Sacrament. Each of these chapels presents iconographic representations of refined beauty, made in mosaic by the school of Beato Angelico of Florence. Of particular interest is the crucifix placed at the main entrance of the crypt, painted on beech wood by the artist Francesco Scialfa, who entitled it the "Christ of Light": from the hands, from the feet, from the head, beams are released of light, a light that recalls the event of the resurrection.
Next to the greater alatar there is an archaeological find, a Byzantine-Late Antique hypogeum , that is a sepulchral chamber, under which there is they are two Greco-Roman environments, not accessible, near which a small stream flows.
The Upper Church is covered by 22 enormous reinforced concrete ribs, arranged in a radial pattern and interspersed with windows. On the external top of the conical structure there is a bronze statue of the Madonna delle Lacrime, the work of the sculptor Francesco Caldarella, surrounded by a halo with circular and radial elements. The flooring of the immense nave, inlaid with white Carrara, Billieli gray and Tarquinia black marble, reproduces a star.
The Sanctuary houses the Reliquary , designed by Biagio Poidimani, in which they are preserved some precious memories of the prodigy of Lacrimation. It rests on a foot with an octagonal base and is made up of 3 superimposed floors: the first contains the flap of a cloth that covered the painting, half of a handkerchief wet with tears and the vial in which the tears collected by the Commission were collected. some doctors on 1 September 1953 and some cotton balls; On the second floor there are four panels that recall the miracle; on the third floor, guarded by four angels, is the glass urn holding one of the vials that were used for microscopic analysis. The tears are preserved in it, now crystallized.
The sanctuary also houses the Lacrimation Museum where some of the most precious and artistic gifts made to the Madonna and the pieces connected to the Madonna are exhibited. Lacrimation event: the pipette and the slide used in the laboratory by the medical commission to carry out chemical analyzes; the wooden cross that led the first pilgrimage in history to the feet of the Madonna delle Lacrime; the desk on which the official documents attesting the prodigy of Lacrimation were signed.
Another space is dedicated to the memorial of St. John Paul II who visited the Basilica of the Madonna delle Lacrime on the occasion of the dedication of the Sanctuary on November 6, 1994.

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