Porticello – Maria SS del Lume

The origins can be traced back to 1700 when, to ensure religious assistance to the fishermen who lived in that district, the Bourbons built a rustic church dedicated to the Madonna del Lume protector of PORTICELLO. In the Church the venerable painting of the Madonna del Lume is still preserved, according to tradition, by the priest Jan Antonio Genovese, of the company of Jesus, who died 1743. During his wanderings he arrived in Porticello where, among the humble fishermen of the township , he found so much authenticity of faith that he wanted to leave them a slate painting of the Madonna del Lume, a painting that has its history on the border between reality and popular imagination. It is said, in fact, that the painting was painted by the Jesuit under the guidance of the Madonna herself who, upon completion, approved it and blessed it. The popular tradition, moreover, provides us with a century version linked to the sea, according to which the picture would have been brought by the waves of the sea, by divine will, up to the pier of San Nicolicchio.
Chiesa di Mara SS del Lume - Porticello Santa Flavia

Church of Mara SS del Lume – Porticello Santa Flavia – Archive Diocesi Maria SS del Lume

The current church dates back to the early 1800s and has been renovated several times; the last time in 1986 when, not having news of a dedication, it was dedicated by Card. Pappalardo. It is divided into three naves separated by tall granite columns with numerous side chapels. There are no works of art of particular interest, but precisely the picture of the Madonna del Lume that dominates the presbytery is of particular value, as well as spiritual, artistic; in fact it is of excellent workmanship, oil painting on slate, the only specimen on slate of this subject, in the presence of such numerous devotion in Sicily in Italy and even in Mexico. The Mother of God stands at the center wrapped in a blue mantle, holding on her left arm the Child Jesus who takes from a basket presented by an angel of hearts; Mary preserves a sinner from falling into hell by lifting him by the arm while two angels hold a crown on the head of the Madonna.
For many years the Church was only chaplaincy or “sacramental Church” dependent on the parish of Santa Flavia, only in 1945 was Parish established for the lively interest of the fishermen and then the chaplain Don Salvatore La Barbera who became the first parish priest.