The shrine of the Madonna of Montevergine overlooks the Amalfi Coast, but at nearly 4,900 feet above sea level, feels like a different world. You can drive there, but the faithful go by foot up the ancient shepherd’s paths, praying along the way, which can take days. The icon is considered one of Southern Italy’s “Black Madonnas,” worshipped at the same sites as pre-Christian earth goddesses. Black refers to the literal earth, not her skin pigmentation. Below the church of Montevergine lie fragments of a temple of Cybele, a mother earth goddess imported to the Roman world via Anatolia.
See you tomorrow.
I remember reading that Montevergine pilgrimage piece! I love a festival and a tradition, it would be so special to see this one.