Hermit of Monte Stella – A catholic sanctuary inside a cave
Calabria offers to the eye of the visitor the charm of the sacred with its spiritual side made of places of faith and religious worship. Every cathedral, every basilica, every church hides treasures of immeasurable artistic and spiritual value. This is the case of The Hermitage of Santa Maria della Stella. Located on the homonymous mountain in the municipality of Pazzano, in the province of Reggio Calabria, it represents a spectacular place: a sanctuary sited in a natural cave.
It can be reached along a path that goes up the mountain, by a long staircase carved into the stone and with a wonderful view of the valley and the Ionian coast. This small refuge was once used by monks to contemplate and pray, while today is a place of pilgrimage and religious events.
The cave houses the statue of the Madonna and paintings depicting the Immaculate Conception, the Holy Trinity and the Adoration of the Shepherds. Of particular interest is the fragment of a Byzantine fresco (X-XI century).
A place like this doesn’t come without its stories…The first written source relative to the hermitage is the Byzantine Greek Code 598 in Paris, by monk Michele. Since 1096, during the Norman period, the hermitage became a smaller monastery, to rise to Catholic shrine in 1522, with the consecration of the statue of the Madonna of the Star (or Madonna of the Stair), work by Sicilian sculptor Rinaldo Bonanno.
Let yourself be moved by this extraordinary religious site!
Author: Francesca Politi - JUMP Team