/ / The Church of Santa Maria di Polsi: photos, description of Santuario Madonna Di Polsi)

The Church of Santa Maria di Polsi: photos, description of Santuario Madonna Di Polsi)

The Church of Santa Maria di Polsi is a Church located in the heart of the massif of Aspromonte near the village of San Luca in the Italian region of Calabria. It was founded in 1144, the year of the Norman king Roger II of Sicily. The Church and monastery stand in a picturesque setting at the bottom of the gorge surrounded by high mountains. Is visible to the West of mount Montalto (1955 metres) the highest peak of the Aspromonte. This arrangement makes it very difficult to reach, a few years ago to Police can be reached only on foot.

Santa Maria di Polsi is the Basilian monastery, one of the last remaining in Calabria. The Church has three naves, the Central stands a classic mesh arch, which is decorated with sheets of pure gold. Arches, resting on powerful columns, decorated with magnificent stucco work of local artists. And drawings on the walls around depict scenes from the life of the virgin Mary. Vintage statue of the Madonna was carved in tufa by a Sicilian artist in the 16th century. Another statue of the Madonna is kept in a niche of white marble. Once in fifty years in the Church is an important event - the coronation of the statues of the Madonna. The first time the coronation was held in 1860, the year in honor of the 300th anniversary of the arrival of the statue in the temple.

In General, the origins of this religion go back to ancient times. In the nearby town of Locri, the former ancient Greek colony, archaeologists found several artifacts made in the pre-Roman era and evidence of the existence in these places of women's cult is probably devoted to Persephone. In the 7th century the monks of Basilian founded a monastery, in which the glorified Madonna of the Greek canons, until the end of the 15th century they were expelled. However, today pilgrims from all over Calabria and Eastern Sicily come to Polsi to worship the virgin Mary, - their number during the celebration reaches 50 thousand people!

Interestingly, in the early 20th century in the Church of Santa Maria di Polsi held their annual meeting members of the Calabrian mafia - ndrangheta. In 1969, the year the meeting was raided by police, who arrested around 70 members of the mafia. And in recent years the number of pilgrims to the temple decreased for the burst in 2007-m to year of conflict between two mafia clans of San Luca.