It is a sign of the immense ecclesiastical, cultural and religious heritage of Sicily that there are so many Sanctuaries. These are sacred places that host testimonies of the highest order, and their memory is kept secretly by the local communities to inspire faith travelers and cultural trips.
We recommend a list of the most attractive sanctuaries. These sanctuaries are well-known for their connection to sacred events as well as their historical and artistic worth.
The Sanctuary of Maria Ss is located in Catania, a city dedicated to the culto de Sant’Agata. di Valverde is linked to the conversion of Dionisio, a brigand, after the Virgin Mary apparition in this area in 1038.
Contrada Mompilieri’s evocative Sanctuary of Madonna della Sciara, in Mascalucia, recalls the 1669 eruption which completely submerged the original shrine beneath a thick layer of incandescent volcanic lava. After many years of futile excavations in search of the Madonna’s valuable statue, a marble work by Antonello Gagini was discovered. The precious sculpture was unharmed. This is the actual, small church that was dedicated to Virgin Mary. It’s called “Madonna della Sciara” (sciara = lava). You can still see the cave from which the statue was found. The Sanctuary is a place of spirituality and silence.
The Trecastagni is home to the Sanctuary for the Saints brothers Alfio Filadelfo, Cirino, and Filadelfo. It dates back to the middle 17th century. The central nave was built on top of the remains of an ancient aedicule, which the first Christians constructed at the same site that these Martyrs stopped to rest during their journey to Lentini 252. This place of worship is a historical landmark because of the complex events surrounding their lives, burial, and finding their bodies.
The Sanctuary of Madonna del Ponte was constructed in Caltagirone 573, one year after the Blessed Virgin Mary’s appearance to a deaf-mute baby. The image of the sacred image with Baby Jesus in her lap appeared miraculously as a reflection of the water from an ancient source. It is now embedded in the Sanctuary within a chapel where pilgrims continue to draw miracle water.