Patronal Feast – Our Lady of Madia

The Byzantine icon, the raft and the multitude of people thronging the harbour to welcome the Madonna of the Madia, so they say locally.
The miracle is repeated, the seaside festival that smacks of faith and tradition as old as the Crusades, with the raft that brings ashore the Madonna of the people of Monopoli and of a much larger territory, the South of Bari, the one that this miraculous image visited in procession in 1954, as a sign of farewell to its people, after the terrible experience of the Great War.
It returns to its people every year, first with the appointment on 14 August (at 8.30 pm) followed by the traditional one on 16 December (at 5 am).

The precious icon of the Madonna of the Madia, the pilgrim, the navigator, the architect Madonna, arrives on a raft, escorted this time by sailors, while history wants her in the company of angels.
This is how the people of Monopoli (and others) have loved to remember it since as far back as 16 December 1117, when it first landed. Welcoming her then was Bishop Romualdo, who entrusted his prayers to the Assumption.
Bishop Domenico Padovano and the rector of the cathedral, Msgr. Vincenzo Muolo, and at least 20,000 faithful are there today.

In the last stretch of sea, before touching the quay of the Cala Fontanelle pier, the raft is escorted by divers who illuminate the route with their torches, in a scenography that has something of the unrepeatable, with a backdrop of stars and fireworks as darkness welds the sea to the sky. Then followed the procession with civil and military authorities.

CREDITS: Comune di Monopoli.

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