The Sanctuary of the Madonna delle Lacrime
According to the tradition that on 6 August 1688, Bartolomeo Mezzera, a local peasant, while returning from work, passed in front of a small chapel where a plaster gable was placed with the image of the Madonna. He stopped to say a prayer and saw that the Madonna was weeping tears of blood. Bartolomeo naturally ran to inform the relatives and the parish priest of Bellano who, the following day, had the news reach the bishop of Milan. Two years later, on August 6, 1690, the foundation stone of the Sanctuary of the Madonna delle Lacrime was laid.
The Bellano sanctuary, whose bell tower rises above the houses of Lezzeno, shows itself in its sober and elegant lines, in classical baroque style. For the design of the church, the Archbishop of Milan, Federico Visconti, had sent the engineer Quadrio to give technical advice.
The works of the factory ended in 1704: an epigraph recalls it, inserted in the portal stone of the main entrance, which explains the reasons behind the Sanctuary, the miracle and the faith: MIRACULUM COLLEGIT PIETAS EREXIT – MDCCIV .
The interior of the church has rich pictorial decorations. It is by Luigi Morgari the great composition of the glory of Maria Regina assumed in heaven (an angel holds the Bellano coat of arms that brings together the symbols of the Torriani and the Visconti). The altarpiece of one of the side altars presents Maria Bambina between Anna and Gioacchino, a copy of a painting by Albani that was in San Celso in Milan.
The areas outside the Sanctuary of Lezzeno have been constantly improved in their «furnishing». One of these interventions involved, years ago, the left stairway to the upper square, transformed into Via Matris through the construction of seven tabernacles in which the seven pains of the Madonna are depicted in mosaics composed on the designs of the architect Gaetano Banfi.
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