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The Sanctuary of Divine Love

The Sanctuary of Divine Love, (known in Italian as the ‘Santuario del Divino Amore’) is situated 12 km from the ‘Domine quo vadis’ church, and has been an important pilgrimage destination since 1740.

That year, a lost pilgrim, chased by ferocious dogs, invoked the Madonna as represented in an image painted on the tower of Castel di Leva and was saved.

The sanctuary, built in 1744, was the focus of a vow made by the Roman people in 1944 during the Second World War, beseeching the Madonna to protect the city from destruction.  Indeed Rome was largely spared and since then the feast of the sanctuary has been marked on the day of Pentecost.

The image of the Madonna of Divine Love, a Byzantine icon, symbolizes the relationship between Mary and the Holy Spirit. The original fresco was transferred from the tower to the church in 1744. The sanctuary, under the leadership of Don Umberto Terenzi, flourished again after his appointment in 1931 and, subsequently, the plans of Fr Costantino Ruggeri and the architect Luigi Leoni for a larger sanctuary came into being, inaugurated on 24 December 1998 and consecrated by Saint John Paul II on 4 July 1999. Today the shrine offers a spiritual and friendly oasis for pilgrims. Its popular and joyful atmosphere was immortalized in Federico Fellini's film "The Nights of Cabiria".