The hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso, Leggiuno, Varese, Italy

The hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso is a monastery built overlooking the eastern shore of Lake Maggiore in Leggiuno, Varese. The construction of the complex is from the twelfth century; Alberto Besozzi of Arolo, dealer and lender, survivor of a shipwreck during a lake crossing, vowed to St. Catherine of Alexandria to settle there for the rest of his life in prayer and solitude in a cave on this stretch of coast. He built a chapel to the saint that we can still see at the back of the church. The relics of Blessed Albert, are inside the church. In the fourteenth century there was the construction of two churches dedicated to St Mary and San Nicolas, which were added to the complex. On the church’s facade, we find four arches that are the remains of a fresco cycle and, seen from the lake, there is the bell tower of the fourteenth century. The oldest part is the chapel from 1195, located at a lower level compared to other parts of the church, which took the size of the tomb of St. Catherine in the Sinai and on the outside, near the window there are some pictures of the transfer of the body of the saint (by the angels) at Mount Sinai. The complex is considered a national monument since 1914. It was restored and reopened in eighty years. It is currently supported by some Benedictine Oblates. The present church has five parts, initially separated, are now they’re four chapels, while the fifth is the chapel where lies Alberto Besozzi. The church is covered with many beautiful frescoes. There is also an organ and a statue of the Virgin and Child (seventeenth century). The hermitage is accessible by foot through a staircase that connects the Quicchio on one side, small group of houses, with parking for cars and a place to eat something, with the other, recently completed, that gives service from the navigation of Lago Maggiore.

Tips

If you can not take the stairs, there is a lift (0.50 euros), built into the rock, which brings you to the church.
The place is very nice for a walk and to take wonderful photos of its beautiful surroundings.
In summer, there is a direct bus from Laveno. The nearest train station is Sangiano on the Luino-Milan line (3km). You can also reach the place with the lake navigation service.

 

Invalid Displayed Gallery

Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes, Rigaud, Quebec, Canada

The Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes is a place of pilgrimage situated in the hillside of Rigaud, in a green natural area; dedicated to the Virgin of the Immaculate Conception. This place recalls the apparitions of the Virgin Mary to Bernadette Soubirous in 1858, at Lourdes in France. Brother Ludger Pauzé is the person who placed a statue of Our Lady of Lourdes on the hill in 1874 and he, his superior, François-Xavier Chouinard, as well as professors and students came fervent pray to the Virgin with him. From there, the place is visited by pilgrims from different countries. There is a team of religious, volunteers and staff to welcome the people. There is a central chapel, the cave with the statue of Our Lady of Lourdes and a small chapel at the top. The sanctuary is at the end of Lourdes street at the foot of the hill.

Tips

For service schedules, it’s best to look on the sanctuary page. There is a Rosary every day at 16:00. If you want to spend part of the day with friends or family, you will find a place to eat and get some rest, there are toilets and mountain trails for hiking. There are two crosses situated on the hill accessed by trails. Wear comfortable shoes because you will ride through trails or long stairs.

Chapel of the Holy Christ of Humility, El Toboso, Toledo, Spain

In the city of El Toboso, Toledo, Spain, there were fourteen small churches or chapels around which the popular class neighborhoods emerged articulated with irregular squares, which are real scenarios of celebrations. Some were inside the fence or wall that protected urban space. Currently, there are only three of these chapels still standing and one of them is the chapel of the Holy Christ of Humility that was a former hospital for the poor in the past. The chapel has simple lines with the use of stone and brick on the outside. It has a large wooden door with wrought iron.

Tips

If you are able to visit the city during the Easter period you can participate in the celebrations of Holy Week, on Easter Monday, they take the Holy Christ of Humility out of the chapel and make a procession from the chapel Holy Christ of Humility to the parish church. In this procession people accompaign carrying flags. This day ends with a mass in the parish.

You can also assist to the mass evry Friday evening all year long.