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Holy Virgin of the Rosary of Pompeii

Pompei Santuario Beata Vergine del Rosario

The Shrine of the Holy Virgin of the Rosary lies on Pompeii’s Square.

Bartolo Longo, whom the Square is dedicated to, was a lawyer in the province of Brindisi, who came to Pompeii to administer the property of the Countess De Fusco who later married him. As time went by, they decided to strive after the dissemination on the faith. They founded The Brotherhood of the Holy Rosary in the church of SS. Salvatore for the fundraising to build the Shrine of the Holy Virgin. On 7 May 1891, the Sanctuary designed by Antonio Cua was consecrated. In 1901, Giovanni Rispoli took over Cua and directed the work for the facade culminating in the monumental statue of the Virgin of the Rosary, by Gaetano Chiaromonte, carved from a single block of Carrara marble.In 1901 the Sanctuary became Pontifical Basilica with Pope Leo XIII. The five-storey tower in Pompeii was designed by Aristide and Pio Leonori. The Basilica is a Latin cross with three naves whose the central one culminating in a 57metres high dome.

The painting of the Virgin of the Rosary and Child, with St. Dominic to the sides and St. Catherine of Siena to the side, is kept on the high altar and it has a gilded bronze frame surrounded by the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary painted by Vincent Paliotti; this painting has become subject of deep worship throughout the world. The original painting was bought in a junk shop by Father Alberto Maria Radente of the Convent of St. Domenico Maggiore, who gave it to Bartolo Longo. Then it happened that a young woman had gone to the shrine to ask the Holy Virgin Lady to be cured from epilepsy and after she did well, the church became a place of international pilgrimages.

Faithful people have enriched the picture with their offerings of gold, jewels, precious stones, which now have been removed from the canvas to avoid damage. Not far from the Shrine you can find the house of Bartolo Longo, whose top floor is now used as a museum and there you can look at some prints describing the eruptions of Mount Vesuvius from 1621 to 1944, and fragments of volcanic rocks and minerals and pics. There is also a library with roughly 1300 volumes and various finds from different archaeological sites around Vesuvius.