History of the sanctuary

History of the sanctuary

From an oratory to a basilica

The Sanctuary was built to house and worship the image of the Virgin with Child, a fifteenth century wall fresco, perhaps originally a fragment of a Maestà con Santi, traditionally positioned on the archway of the south door of Fiorano castle.

Various miraculous events have been attributed to the protection of the image over the centuries, saving the town of Fiorano from fires, attacks and plagues.

The devotion of the local populace led to construction of an oratory on the hill within the castle walls in 1630, then the Sanctuary in 1634.

Duke Francesco I d’Este had the Sanctuary erected as a complement to the Delizia Estense buildings of Sassuolo, on design of Bartolomeo Avanzini, a Roman architect who designed the Doge’s Palace; the Delizia Estense buildings are connected to the Sanctuary by a panoramic path that visually units religious and temporal power.

The Sanctuary was dedicated to Mary “Mediatrice di tutte le Grazie” in 1933 and elevated to the title of Minor Basilica in 1989.