A Journey in Faith
Saint James of the Marche was born in Monteprandone in 1393. With the loss of his father at just seven years old, he was sent to study with a priest uncle to Offida, Ascoli Piceno, and to Perugia where he obtained a degree in Law. In Tuscany he practised as Notary and Judge. After leaving the legal career, he made deep bonds of friendship with the Franciscan monks. In July 1416 he became a member of the Order of the Friars Minor in Assisi. He was ordained as a priest in the convent of Fiesole by his Master and spiritual guide Saint Bernardine of Siena. He worked to prevent usury and spurred the spreading of pawnbrokers; he built hospitals, wells, public cisterns and convents, including the one in his hometown in 1473. He carried out his apostolate also in Dalmatia, Slovenia, Bosnia, Austria, Hungary and Bohemia. He died in Naples in 1476. He was beatified in 1624 and proclaimed Saint in 1726. His venerated remains are in the chapel of St. James, in “his” Franciscan convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Monteprandone. Besides the house where he was born, Monteprandone still has a part of the over 800 volumes of the library established by Saint James: 60 manuscripts of the 14th and 15th century and one of the 10th century. Particularly beautiful are the illuminated manuscripts and the four autographs of the Saint. Very interesting is also the letter sent by Saint James to Saint John Capistrano in 1455. The manuscripts are displayed to the public at “Palazzo Parissi” (Parissi Palace).
A town that is the destination of pilgrimage, art, faith and devotion. After St. Peter’s in Rome, Loreto is the most important holy place dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The Cathedral treasures the Holy House of Nazareth with the Black Virgin.
San Giovanni Rotondo, the place where Saint Pio lived, a place of meditation and prayer, every year receives the highest number of pilgrims in Europe. The exhumation and exposition of his remains is a further invitation to pray for the Saint who offered his existence to the love of faith.
Santuario della Madonna dell’Ambro
(Shrine of Our Lady of the Ambro river)
Known as “the little Lourdes of the Sibillini Mounts”. Built in a scenic gorge and in a suggestive place along the river Ambro near Montefortino. Founded before the year 1000, it is one of the oldest shrines of the Marche region. The scenery is the beautiful one of the Sibillini Mounts National Park, with mountains, nature and clean air. The tombstone behind the chapel altar contains the story that originated it: “in May of the year one thousand, the Holy Virgin appeared in this sacred rock to the humble shepherdess Santina, dumb from birth”... A place of pilgrimage and important events such as, for instance, the Madonna dell’Ambro Festival in May and the Betrothed Couples’ Festival in August.
Saint Rita of Cascia
The Santuario di Santa Rita da Cascia (Shrine of Saint Rita of Cascia) offers all visitors a meaningful occasion for reflection and prayer. Love was Saint Rita’s vital force and she was always guided by it. Her willingness to pardon, desire for peace, capability to endure suffering are huge. A pupil of the Blessed Augustinian Simon of Cascia, who rests next to her, and fascinated by Saint Nicholas of Tolentino, Rita is a glory of that Augustinian family that has always continued its work at the Cascia Shrine, renovated and enhanced in the middle of the last century by the Blessed Maria Teresa Fasce, Mother Superior of the Monastery, also venerated next to Rita.