top of page

The Catholic Defender: Madonna of Mount Berico, Vicenza, Italy (1426, 1428)

O Most Holy Virgin, Mother of God and my Mother Mary, I thank you that you have deigned to appear on Monte Berico and I thank you for all the graces you grant here to those who turn to you. Nobody ever prayed to you in vain. I, too, resort to you and beg you for the Passion and Death of Jesus and for your pains: welcome me, o’ merciful Mother, under your mantle, which is a maternal mantle; grant me the particular grace that I ask of You [your petition here] and protect me from all evil and especially from sin which is the greatest evil.

Oh make, oh Mary, my Mother, that I always enjoy your loving protection in life and even more in death and then come to see you in heaven and to thank and bless you forever. Amen.

Madonna of Monte Berico, pray for us.

Our Lady of Monte Berico appeared to an elderly Italian peasant woman, Vincenza Pasini, in the 1420s, telling her to have a church built on the hill to end a terrible plague that was afflicting the region.

Read the full Our Lady of Monte Berico novena on the novena page. You can also learn more about novenas here.

Our Lady of Monte Berico

Our Lady of Monte Berico appeared to an elderly Italian peasant woman, Vincenza Pasini, in the 1420s, telling her to have a church built on the hill to end a terrible plague that was afflicting the region.

Our Lady said to Vincenza: “I am the Virgin Mary, the Mother of Christ who died on the Cross for the salvation of men. I beg you to go and say in my name to the people of Vicenza that they must build in this place a church in my honor if they want to recover their health. Otherwise, the plague will not cease. As proof of what I say, let them dig here, and from the rock, living water will spring.”

Vincenza told the people, as well as the bishop and priests, but they did not believe her, so for two more years the plague claimed victims.

In 1428 Our Lady appeared to Vincenza again, and this time the bishop and priests believed her. They built the church on the spot and consecrated it, and immediately the plague disappeared.

In the image of the Madonna of Monte Berico, our Lady is wearing a crown and bejeweled necklace. She protectively wraps the children and people under her mantle.

The urgency for prayer and petition should not begin when we are most desperate. Our prayers for protection and deliverance from evil begin before that. Most of all, because we naturally desire protection: everyone values safety. Likewise, this sense of hope enables us to be situationally aware of our condition and all potential threats. That is why it’s better to listen to warnings early and pray for protection and deliverance before a threat makes itself real.

Most of the world may have never heard of St. Vincenza Pasini, but she was a prayerful peasant’s wife who understood the important of the earliest appeals for prayer. The people of the historical city of Vicenza, Italy in the early 15th-century were somewhat dissimilar to Pasini. Desperate in their own way, they had been fighting a pestilence for over a decade, when in 1426, Vincenza told the townspeople that as she was bringing lunch and drink to her husband laboring on a nearby hill overlooking the valley, the Virgin Mary appeared to her with instructions.

Even Pasini was somewhat unconvinced, replying to Mary of the despondent and spiritual visionlessness of the local peoples. Our Lady assured her, “As proof of what I say, let them dig here, and from the rock, living water will spring.”

Immediately obedient, the 70-year-old woman preached this message on the streets, but the message fell on deaf ears, and the plague raged on without hope of a respite or an end in sight.

But Pasini continued to devote herself to Christian charity and the message of the woman who appeared to her, visiting the spot of the apparition daily, where the Virgin herself struck the ground in the shape of a cross and the dimension of the church to be build alongside the vineyard her husband worked from.

After two years, the Virgin appeared to her once again with the same message. With renewed vigor she told the people including the bishop, who opted, finally, after some 70% of the population had left or deceased, to build the church on a spot in the most northern expanse of the Colli Berici hills.

At once, upon the completion and consecration of the church, the plague that had ravaged the entire region for years ended without any doubt left in the hearts and minds of the people of the city and local area.

But the Virgin didn’t desire only a memorial to a moment of desperation, but a continued devotion.

She vowed, “You will also say that those who visit this church on feasts dedicated to me and on the first Sunday of every month will have abundant graces and my will receive my maternal blessing.”

Our Lady then took a small stick and gracefully traced the Sign of the Cross on the ground, sketched the lines of the Church to be erected, and planted the stick in the ground where the high altar of the Shrine is located today. She then said, “All those who visit this church with devotion on My feast days and on every first Sunday of the month, will be given an abundance of grace and the Mercy of God and the blessing of my motherly hands.”

Again, Vincenza went to the authorities and to the people, who were now anxious about the effects of the plague that raged on.

Finally, the Bishop recognized the apparitions; and this time, the citizens were so afraid that they quickly heeded the advice. Within twenty-four hours, the city workers and residents, led by the Bishop, climbed Monte Berico, and they began to plan the Gothic church with a monastery for religious to greet the pilgrims. Construction began three weeks later on August 25, 1428; remarkably, it was completed within three months. While they were constructing the building, they struck a rock; “a marvelous and incredible source of water flowed… to the point of flooding the area like an abundant river coming noisily down the mount.”

It was reported that, as soon as the church was finished, the plague abated and finally vanished. These events were documented in 1430 by the notaries public; they can be read in the city library Biblioteca Civica Bertoliana. The Vicenzians were grateful to be rid of the plague, and they were convinced of the truth of the apparition. Devotion to Our Lady of Monte Berico increased daily.

A future Deepertruth Novena:

For an end to the coronavirus.

  1. For all those suffering throughout the world from the coronavirus: That they may know Jesus is with them in their suffering and that they may be healed.

  2. For all nurses, doctors and health care workers: We place them in the hands of the Father, that they may be protected and blessed in their care for the sick.

  3. For Catholics who suffer the Cross in not being able to attend Mass and receive the Eucharist out of charity for their neighbor: That they may join their suffering to Christ and pray for the conversion of the world and an end to the coronavirus.

  4. For those Catholics whose hearts have become indifferent to the Eucharist: That the Lord will stir into flame their hearts with a deep desire and love for the Eucharist as the place of encounter with Jesus and his unconditional love for them.

  5. For priests throughout the world who anoint the sick and care for the dying: That they may be protected by the intercession of Our Lady of Berico.

  6. That the Lord will pour forth his Holy Spirit upon scientists, granting them knowledge and wisdom as they search for a vaccine and cure for coronavirus.

  7. That the Lord will guide with his Holy Spirit, civil and church leaders, and the decisions that they must make concerning the coronavirus and the common good.

  8. That through the intercession of our Lady of Berico and St. Joseph, the plague of coronavirus may come to an end.

Vicenza, named for the victory in 157 B.C., when the Romans drove out the Celtic tribes from the area, is situated in northeast Italy at the base of the Vicentine Alps, between Milan to the west and Venice to the east. The rich soil and abundant pastures make ideal conditions for the numerous horses, cattle and sheep that populate the land. Vicenza is located not far to the west of Padua (famous for St. Anthony of Padua) and was once under its governance for protection purposes.


bottom of page