Sacred Mountain

The incredible Sacro Monte di Oropa is part of the Sacred Mountains built in 600 after the counter-reform of San Carlo Borromeo. The Sacred Mount of Oropa, recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, consists of a series of chapels, all characterized by the presence of distinctive architectural signs. Twelve of these chapels were built over a period of 100 years from the year 1620 and represent the most interesting part of the whole complex. To the multicolored terracotta statues dedicated to the events of the life of the Virgin Mary in plastic-figurative scenes, biellese clippers worked, real specialists in Sacri Monti who created absolutely moving and artistic masterpieces.

The Chapels, as shown in the figure, were built equidistant, at least in the first section, and arranged in alternating order on two very close and almost parallel rows on the grassy slope of the green slope. The five remaining Chapels are more distant from each other, because they are missing the intermediate ones, designed but not realized. Even today there is not a real avenue that unites them, but the zig-zag path, typical way of facing the mountain slopes, allows you to go from one chapel to another without the need for directions.

It must be said that the relationship between the Marian Shrine and the Sacred Mount has not always been clear as it is not in their physical connection, since the devotional practice of ascent to the Sacred Mountain occurred after the visit to the Black Madonna. two spiritual entities a rather rigid visual separation that seems to persist even today. The local clergy always considered the Sacro Monte, an accessory and personal practice.

In the Middle Ages, the pilgrimage represented a strong moment for the life of the Christian and was one of the aspects of the religiosity of the time. However, between the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries when it was difficult if not impossible to reach Palestine, the Franciscans began the construction of the Sacred Mountains to keep alive the sense of pilgrimage no longer possible in Middle Eastern land.

Devotional path

PREMISE - Before beginning the devotional path it is necessary to prepare the heart to the joy, to meet the love. Contemplating these attractive Chapels it flows in the heart an ineffable sweetness and a spiritual consolation very intense to have in the heart the delights of the Heaven. Through the prayer and the meditation that we will do in front of every Chapel, it will seem us to feel a divine presence very intense to arouse enthusiasm the soul and to engrave well in the heart the intense desire of usufruire this immense.
After having meditated the tappes of the Virgo Maria and prayed for his intercession, we will be ready to fall us in the Sanctuary to receive his loving embrace, his sweet caress, his maternal protection in graces and benedictions. We can thus be fulfilled in our requests, but above all she will be able to guide us towards her son Jesus. That is, it must be remembered, the purpose of our whole life.

The Chapels

  1. Immaculate Conception
  2. Nativity of Mary
  3. Presentation of Mary at the Temple
  4. Dwelling of Mary in the Temple
  5. Marriage of Mary
  6. Annunciation
  7. Visitation
  8. Nativity of Jesus
  9. Purification of Mary
  10. Wedding at Cana
  11. Assumption of Mary
  12. Coronation of Mary
  1. Chapel of the Immaculate Conception

    INTERNAL INSPECTION - A dragon representing original sin is placed at the center of the scene between St. Joachim and St. Anne, parents of the Virgin Mary. At the top of the cornice is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit ready to descend on the Virgin Mary who is kneeling on the earth globe surrounded by two Angels.

    MEDITATION The Eternal Father wanted Mary to be preserved from the original stain because it was right that she was not a slave to Lucifer, but that she belonged only and forever to her Creator. God created her full of grace and assigned her the task of repairing the lost world, a new mediator of peace between men and God. Above all the Eternal Father wanted to preserve this Ancella from the sin of Adam because he was destined to be the Mother of God. His Only Begotten Son Jesus.

    Contemplate how Mary was able to have grace from God and the attainment of virtues. Everything went from his great commitment to continuous prayer, from the ardent desire to please his beloved Lord, from the many penitences to subject the body to the spirit. She was the only one who deserved to be called Mother and spouse of God.
    You too, like Mary, can walk the paths of virtues through commitment to constant prayer, in seeking the path of goodness, especially in raising the plea to the beloved Virgin Mary, so that she may help you in this virtuous path.

    Oh Star of the sky, I would like the whole world
    he knew you as you are,
    as beautiful as the dawn, adorned with divine light,
    sublime ark of salvation
    delight of God.

    Oh, very sweet, most amiable Mary,
    please do not distract your pitying eyes
    from the so horrible sores of my soul,
    look at me, have compassion and heal me.

    Please save me
    draw my miserable heart to you too
    so that it can ignite
    the love of God
    help me to follow in the footsteps of Jesus.

  2. Chapel of the Nativity of Mary

    INTERNAL RE-COLLECTION - The birth of the Virgin Mary is represented. On the bottom Santa Anna, assisted by two women, lies in bed. A midwife is seated surrounded by two Angels and shows Mary in swaddling clothes to her father San Gioacchini, while on the right of the women they dry the clothes around the fireplace.

    It is certain that the soul of Mary was the most beautiful that God had created, indeed, after the incarnation of the Word, this was the greatest and in itself worthy work that the Almighty realized in this world. The soul of Mary was like the grass that sucked happy all the abundant rain of Grace without losing a drop. So if Mary was destined to be the Mother of God, it was necessary for God to enrich her from the first moment of Her life with an immense grace and superior order to the grace of all other men and angels, having to respond to the highest mission to whom God raised him.

    Observe that as the sun with its light exceeds so much the splendor of the stars that these are no longer seen, so the Virgin Mary surpasses with her sanctity the merits of the whole heavenly cohort. Finally, he observes that she has offered her merits to God for the salvation of all men. His pure soul, freed from all impediments, always flew towards God, and His love for Him increased more and more.

    Dear Mother, if there is a small seed of hope in me,
    some spark of grace, some sign of salvation,
    I must recognize that it comes from you.

    How great is grace
    that you have before God.
    Get me a light and a divine flame
    to make me burn with divine love.

    I beg you, do it for love
    of that God who made you so great
    so powerful and compassionate.
    Do it for me because I love you.

  3. Presentation of Mary at the Temple

    INTERNAL COLLECTION - You see the infant Mary climbing up the steps, while St. Joachim and Santa Anna watch her. Beyond the parapet at the top of the staircase, the High Priest and other Temple characters in rich costumes await the entrance of the Virgin Mary.

    MEDITATION Contemplates Mary who, as soon as she reaches her third year of life, goes to the service of the Sacred Temple to elect God as Father and Lord. Since she was a child she had understood the voice of God that invited her to devote herself entirely to her love. "Listen, daughter, look, give ear, forget your people and your father's house" (Ps 45: 1).

    TEACHINGS Mary offered herself totally to God promptly, without hesitating and without reserve, her will subjugated herself to embrace all that the Lord desired, it is such a great and sublime act that she remains enraptured. With humility presented to Mary and beg her to offer you to God, this offering will be particularly pleasing to God by obtaining the unimaginable.

    Oh beloved of God, Your shining example
    it pushes me to imitate you.
    I would like you to help me
    to make up for lost time
    that I served the world.

    O Queen, I consecrate you,
    the mind to always think about the love you deserve.
    The language to praise you.
    The heart to love you.
    Please accept me as I am.

    Oh Mother with your intercession
    helps my weakness.
    getting for me from your Jesus
    perseverance and strength to be faithful to you
    till death.

  4. Dwelling of Mary in the Temple

    INTERNAL APPAREANCE- The Virgin Mary is seated at a work table and surrounded by little angels and other girls of the Temple of Jerusalem, forty-four characters appear.

    MEDITATION It is beautiful to contemplate Mary while she lives for eleven years in the temple, while growing more and more in perfection. She, in silence and meekness, cultivates and makes her virtues shine, such as charity, modesty and humility. Meanwhile, the Lord is pleased to see this little Virgin climb the heights of virtues. "Who is she who rises from the desert like a pillar of smoke, exhaling the scent of myrrh and incense and of every aromatic powder?".

    TEACHINGS Mary, while in the temple as a handmaid, suffered for sinners and interceded with God for their redemption. Mary is a model to be imitated because she is a teacher in virtues. Therefore, direct your actions to acquire through his teaching the virtues necessary to become a beloved child of the Father who is in heaven.

    Oh, wonderful girl in the sky,
    white lily of the immaculate heart,
    the Almighty adorned you with every virtue
    that even the Angels contemplate enraptured.

    In spite of my unworthiness, I beg you,
    help me to achieve the virtues of which you are Master.
    Help me to follow the itineraries
    necessary to travel the streets of heaven.

    Dear Heavenly Mother, I beg you, protect me in this life so that I can obtain eternal life, where your Son awaits the pure in heart.

  5. Marriage of Mary

    INTERNAL DEPARTMENT - Highlight is the wedding scene with the High Priest on the staircase with the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph, the latter holding a flowering rod with his left hand.

    MEDITATION According to the regulation of the Temple also for Mary the moment came to take a husband. Then all the bachelors of the tribe of David were called to gather at the temple and many responded to the invitation. The High Priest brought to each of the assembled a branch, and ordered them to mark his name on it and to hold it in his hand during the prayer, when Joseph put down the branch on the altar and it bloomed. In this way Joseph was recognized as the bridegroom destined by the Lord to the Blessed Virgin.

    TEACHINGS Mary is this noble star left by Jacob, whose rays illuminate the entire universe, shine in the heavens and penetrate into the abysses. Whoever you are, in this sea that is the world and you feel tossed in the midst of hurricanes and storms, never turn your eyes away from the light of this star. If she supports you, you will not sink. If you protect yourself, you will not be afraid of anything. Under His guidance you will not fear fatigue and with His protection you will attain salvation.

    If the wind of temptation assails you
    If the rocks of misfortune
    You stand before you, turn to Maria.

    If the anger, the avarice, the seduction of the flesh
    they toss the fragile boat
    of your soul
    turn your gaze to Mary.

    When tormented by your faults,
    shameful for the filth of your conscience
    terrified by the threat of judgment
    think of Mary.

    Following her, you will not be lost
    begging her, you will not know despair
    thinking of you, you will not be wrong
    She is waiting for you to hold on to her heart.

  6. Annunciation

    INTERNAL INSPECTION - In the scene we see Mary, kneeling in prayer. Above her is a dove depicting the presence of the Holy Spirit. In front of her, the archangel Gabriele appears majestic while God Padre searches the event upwards.

    MEDITATION The Lord, attracted by the scent of the virtues of this humble girl, chose her as his mother when he wanted to become a man to redeem the world. The Archangel Gabriel greeted her. "I greet you, oh full of grace, the Lord is with you, you are blessed among women". She did not answer, but was disturbed. And again: "Here you will conceive a child, you will give him birth and you will call him Jesus". The Archangel awaits the answer. Mary responds with these words: "Here I am, I am the servant of the Lord, let me do what you have said".

    TEACHINGS Mary was troubled because she was filled with humility, she fled every praise. With the answer to the Angel you rejoiced the sky and brought to the earth a sea of graces and goods. Oh great humility of Mary who makes her small to herself, but great before God. In what corner of the earth has it been possible to find such a marvelous Virgin who with her eyes has captured the King of Heaven and with the sweet violence of the attraction of love has made her a slave. God can certainly make a more beautiful world, a bigger sky, but he cannot make a more sublime creature than by making her His Mother.

    You who exercise on God the maternal authority,
    give the highest grace of reconciliation
    even to those who sin greatly.

    You cannot be heard,
    if God himself behaves with you
    in all that is convenient
    to His true Mother.

    To you Mother of God and our Mother
    power is not lacking to help us.
    And you do not miss it
    the willingness to help us.

    Come along oh mother to my rescue,
    save me from misery and pride
    take me by the hand
    and take me to Your son Jesus.

  7. Visitation

    INTERNAL COLLECTION - The meeting between the Virgin Mary and her cousin Elizabeth is represented. San Giuseppe, on the right, and Zaccaria, on the left, observe the embrace between the two women.

    MEDITATION Contemplate Mary who goes to Elizabeth after the Angel's directions: "and behold Elisabeth, your relative, has conceived a child in her old age and this is the sixth month for her, which was sterile".
    Mary neither cares for the harshness of the road, nor forty miles to go, but proceeds forward escorted by gentle celestial creatures.
    The Virgin is driven only by charity, since in her womb already contains the uncreated Word. Entered the house of Zechariah, he greeted Elizabeth. At seeing her, Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud voice: "Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb [...] And blessed is she who believed in the fulfillment of what the Lord has told her".

    TEACHINGS Mary thinks neither of herself nor of the exertions of the journey in spite of her conditions, but she rushes to her cousin Elizabeth. The Lord welcomes the obedience and sacrifice that goes beyond oneself.

    Oh dear Mother of heaven,
    doubt has never touched you.
    The sky could not find
    a more pure and ardent heart than yours.

    The Angel says and you come to the solicitude.
    You do not think of yourself, nor the fatigue of the journey.
    The heart pushes you
    where the sky wants you.

    Help me to follow your example.
    Help me to accept your teachings with joy,
    Help me to light the burning flame
    in my heart.

  8. Nativity of Jesus

    INTERNAL STORE - In this chapel is represented the Bethlehem hut in which you can admire the little boy, the Virgin Mary, the putative father St. Joseph, the ox and the donkey.
    The scene is surrounded by many angels and festive cherubs.

    MEDITATION Contemplates and looks forward to the imminent day of childbirth. The Virgin while she was preparing the bands for the event was called elsewhere by the edict of Caesar Augustus who ordered a census. For four days with his very keen husband Giuseppe, he goes through strenuous trails in the harsh winter. For Maria it was a painful journey both for her condition and for her tender age. When she comes to Bethlehem, she does not find hospitality and is forced to take shelter in a stable. There, in the silence of the night, the Savior gave birth on the bare earth. He welcomed him in his most affectionate arms and squeezed him on the breast between the triumph of the Angels.

    TEACHINGS From the beginning the Redeemer gave us the example of poverty, humility and patience. Although Mary was in the imminence of the birth she obeyed the edict of the Roman emperor who ordered the census. The Lord welcomes the obedience and the sacrifice that follows.

    Oh Mother, You gave birth
    to the Savior of the world.
    You put it in the humble manger,
    because no heart has taken pity on your terms.

    Jesus in fact wanted to have His Throne in heaven,
    his empire in the service,
    his glory in contempt,
    his power in obedience.

    Following the example given by your Son,
    help me oh dear mother to defeat pride,
    to regain strength and courage,
    to overcome the pettiness of my actions,
    to set me happy in your footsteps.

  9. Purification of Mary

    INTERNAL REFFIRATION - Mary appears prominently presenting her son to the High Priest for purification. Also present at the event Giuseppe with the prophetess Anna. At the top stands the Blessing Father surrounded by some angels.

    MEDITATION "When the time came for their purification, according to the law of Moses, they brought the child to Jerusalem". In the ancient law, after forty days of the birth of the child, the mother had to go to the Temple to be purified and offer her child to God. The Lord wanted that on the day of presentation she would make a solemn sacrifice of herself in the Temple offering solemnly to him. The Son, thus sacrificing the precious life of Jesus to divine justice.

    TEACHINGS Which heroic virtue procured this sacrifice, since it was aware of having to sign the sentence of the condemnation of your beloved Jesus to death. The Holy Virgin had learned from the divine scriptures what suffering she would have to endure the Redeemer. O charity without measure! Oh constancy without example! Oh victory that deserves the eternal admiration of Heaven and earth. To understand the violence that Mary had to do to herself with this sacrifice, one would have to understand what immense love bound her to Jesus.

    Oh Immaculate Virgin where can I find your love?
    Maybe up there, where the snow reigns.
    Or there in the dew where the sun burns.
    Or in the fragrant freshness.
    Or in the glass of a lily.

    I saw you rush to the desperate.
    I saw you cry with the suffering.
    I recognized you in those who love your son Jesus.
    Finally, most pure Virgin, I found you in the whisper of my heart.

  10. Wedding at Cana

    INTERNAL COLLECTION - The scene represents a wedding banquet and Jesus and Vergine Maria are highlighted. You see next to Jesus an old man who is intent on admiring the miracle that took place in the jars, where the water became transformed into wine.

    MEDITATION Mary went to Cana in Galilee to attend the wedding of Simone Zelote. Although she was Mother of God, she was pleased, in her simplicity, to accept the affectionate invitation together with her son Jesus. When the wine failed to come, Mary took compassion and said to her son Jesus: "They have no more wine". He answered, "Woman, what do you want from me? My hour has not yet come". His mother tells the servants: "Whatever he tells you, do it". Mary is driven by piety, she pities the need of the poor family and for the urgent necessity, she resorts to the omnipotence of her own Son, who in order to fulfill her mother's petition, works the first miracle transforming the water placed in the jars into wine.

    TEACHINGS Take for example Mary, when you see a troubled brother do not wait for the request for help, but act quickly to give him help. This requires perfect love.

    Oh Star of the sky
    that brings comfort to the embittered souls,
    come to my misery,
    so that I can go out
    from the abysmal confusion of this world.

    Dear Mom, help me
    to get pity
    for all the mistakes made in life.
    And you can aspire to come
    through the way of love, in the heart of Jesus.

    Who more than you oh Mary
    knows the burning beats
    of your heart.
    I wish with all my heart
    entrust me in your maternal hands.

    Of course of the immense love
    that you have for me,
    Oh Mary,
    I'm sure you'll take me
    to your Son Jesus.

  11. Assumption of Mary

    INTERNAL INSPECTION - The Apostles around the empty sepulcher watch Mary ascend into heaven. A multitude of Angels surround the Virgin and accompany her to the Glory of Heaven.

    MEDITATION Because Mary was able to live detached from earthly things, always united to God, her death was not bitter but sweet and dear. Death did not come dressed in mourning and sadness as it happens for other men, but it was adorned with light and joy. The Son invited her to follow him immersing her in the flames of his charity and in the sighs of love. The immaculate soul of Mary like a tender dove broke from the bonds of this earth and left treats to the blessed glory. Now sit, and will be for all eternity, Queen of Heaven.

    TEACHINGS In the heart of Mary the divine love was constantly burning, so she had the unique privilege among the living of the earth to be assumed in Heaven. On that day whole groups of angels accompanied her to the triumph in Paradise. She flew as if on wings of a dove, up there near her God.

    Oh Mother of Mercy
    I entrust all your hopes to you
    for my salvation.
    Every day my soul desires you and sighs.

    I beg you to welcome me under your mantle.
    As powerful as you are with God,
    free me from every temptation
    and get me the strength to win them.

    Please do not abandon me until
    with you you will see me saved in heaven
    sing your mercies
    for all eternity.

  12. Coronation of Mary

    INTERNAL INTERIOR RAFFIGURAZONE - It is an impressive scene composed of one hundred and fifty statues. Mary is the tall, surrounded by multitudes of Angels, Cherubs and Saints, while she is crowned Queen of Heaven by the Most Holy Trinity. Even from the bottom other characters participate in the event in prayer or arms stretched upward in the act of contemplation.

    MEDITATION God wanted his handmaid in heaven to give testimony of what he had thought and wanted for man, that is an innocent life. Mary has always remained faithful to God and to His grace. Fullness in perfection reached her in the Light of Heaven before the Patriarchs, Prophets, Saints, Angels and Martyrs. Raising it to the glory of heaven, God chose it as the wonder of the universe, Queen of Paradise, before which every creature is forced to bow.

    TEACHINGS Now that dwells in the sky, Mary is even more beautiful and more Holy, is the link between God and man. Even if His mediation is subordinated to Jesus the only Mediator, his power as a Mother pleases the Son. So we have in the sky a powerful advocate and a wondrous creature. We can take refuge in her heart and she will protect us, she will advise us, I will burst into our hearts a fire of love that will last forever.

    I do not know where to look
    to find a creature
    so perfect and loving
    like you oh dear Mother.

    At your feet,
    I beg you the grace to hold you
    to my heart.
    And get your loving guide.

    I cannot wish for more!
    Let me find
    in my heart a spark
    of the fire of your love.

    Take me by the hand
    and guide me through the streets of the world.
    Support me in adversity
    and take me into the heart of Jesus.


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