On the second weekend of May, the Fabiano village celebrates the Madonna dell’Olmo, one of the most important Holy Mary’s festivity in the area.
The origin of the cult dates back to the end of the seventeenth century, when an unknown painter painted on a slate slab an image of the Madonna with the child Jesus, St. Joseph and a second saint, today identified with St. Nicholas, Venerated by the local community, and considered miraculous.
There are written documents of the time between Bishop Spinola and Don Giovambattista Carassale, who supported the community of Fabiano with the request to test the accounts of alleged miracles and to protect with a wooden case the effigy, on which he had to read: Orders of Bishop Illuminato and Rev. Bishop of Sarzana as well as Apostolic Delegate, no one arises to lift the table and find the image under penalty of Major Scomunica, latae sententiae, reserved to ‘Superior Superiors, and to the Holiness of N Lord.
The image was then placed in a “niche” of an old dry wall as a frequent use of the time, on the slope of Mount Santa Croce, just above the village of Fabiano, in Cepo, in a square near a Big elm. Veneration and offerings increased, and shortly thereafter a small oratorio was dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, at that time and for a long time known as Madonna del Monte.
The construction of the Madonna of the Elm by the whole village of Fabiano
In 1838 all the Fabiano’s families reunited decided that a much bigger temple would be devoted to the most loved Madonna of all known of the Olmo, to which was attributed a protective effect to the plague epidemic affecting the city in 1817, construction to which all men in the workforce of the village would have contributed free of charge a day in the month, carrying the necessary materials on public holidays.
The scrip on today’s facade testifies that the works ended about 11 years later.
The cult of Our Lady of the Elm is followed by the whole city.
Especially in the most difficult moments of our history, as during World War II, we have always looked to the care of Our Lady of Elm, who looks out of her sanctuary the whole gulf and is well recognized from the city. That is why the celebration of May is traditionally very much loved. In addition to the slate slab well preserved in the church, there is a similar wooden group housed in the church of Fabiano, which on the eve of the second Sunday of May is transported to the sanctuary on a foot pilgrimage that starts from the coast road (once the path was longer, and started from Fabiano Basso along the mule track that reached the sanctuary). Then the icon is retransmitted to Fabiano in procession.
This year the party falls tomorrow, Sunday, May 14th. Here is the program:
Oggi 13 Maggio:
Messa nella chiesa parrocchiale di Fabiano Altro
Processione al Santuario dell’Olmo
Domenica 14 Maggio
SS. Messe alle ore: 6.00, 7.30, 9.00, 10.00, 11 (celebrazione del Vescovo), 16.00, 17.00, 18.00
Domenica 21 Maggio:
S. Messa e Processione del ritorno dell’immagine a Fabiamo
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