Sanctuary of Oropa



Plague as a pathogen, the bacterium Pesteurella pasties and is transmitted to humans through the bite of some types of fleas that infest rats sick.

Epidemics and the Madonna Oropa

The bubonic plague has been known since antiquity for the most serious epidemics affecting Europe in the centuries VI-XIV.

The town of Biella in 1522 was subject to a harsh contagion from which it was feared the final destruction, but was pardoned by Madonna Oropa invoked after surgery. The illustrious Dean testifies Scaglia, prefect of Santhia that: "loose the vote of the Republic of Biella for the plague of 1522. ".

The plague epidemic manifested itself once again as in 1599 in Biella, where the death toll rose to 460 in a population of 6000, despite the AID taken by city government. And while the plague raged you gave the vote to enlarge the Church of the Virgin in Oropa and go in procession to this place. In fact the Council at its meeting issued the following vote: "Be it known and manifest to everybody... that the sins are mostly due to pests, which can raise with prayer and devotion by which subsides God's wrath... considering how it can soothe, we thought that with the prayers and intercessions of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ and his saints to use the goodness and mercy of God to deign to liberate... for those who are summoned by the scourge in the name of this wonderful community of free will and with the same mind and opinion, have made a solemn vow to the Blessed Virgin oratory built in the mountains of Biella, to go in procession with all the clergy. And the gift by the Rectors and Consuls hundred ducats to be used to enlarge the church".

On the facade of the church erected in place of the oratory is still the inscription reads: "For the plague away from Biella.In the Year of Jubilee 1600.".

The protection of the Madonna still occured in the year 1630, preserving the Biella by the terrible scourge immortalized by Alessandro Manzoni in his famous novel called the "Betrothed". Out of gratitude in 1632 was donated to the Sanctuary a beautiful chandelier silver on which was written. "To the Virgin Mother of God Oropesa, preserve and patron of Biella, the city untouched by the contagion has, year 1632".

The plague swept 1630 in Novara, Alessandria, Tortona, Casale etc.. and lasted until the individual parishes they resorted to the protection of the Blessed Virgin with special vows. Held the promise of getting into a procession to the Sanctuary of Oropa, custom which will endure for centuries until today.

According to the documents that the country "Villa Novar’s" was freed from a plague first time in 1749 and a second in the year 1722.

The same thing happened in 1733 for the country "slow" and witness the Prior Peeving: "Find great multitude of men and women of the place of lenses, attacked by a malignant disease, fevers and piercing, so that they were overtaken by death five or six a day... it was thought to have recourse to the Blessed Virgin in Oropa. Invoked the intercession of Mary in his prodigious statue rescued from death multitude of sick".

In 1733 the country "Ghislarengo" was released by the disease. Witness the Reverend Francis Matthew Rinolfi: "The people were almost completely attacked by an acute disease and malignant.'s Disease many died each day, while others were made sick ... you voting public instead of bringing all the people in procession to Oropa if the people were healed ... and no one fell sick.".


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