Gibilmanna

 

 

 

The sanctuary dedicated to the Madonna is perched high on the Pizzo San Angelo 800m above sea level. Said to be the first on the island to be dedicated to the Madonna.  Its name refers to its position from the Arabic Jebel,  meaning  mountain or hill.  The name translates literally as Mountain of Manna.  Manna is a sweetish substance, collected in the months of July-August from the Mountain Ash trees which grow in the area.

 

The monastery attached is believed to be one of the six earliest Benedictine communities of coenobites founded following the wishes of Gregory the Great in the 6th C, passed into the hands of the Capuchin Friars Minor in 1535. The present building is the result of numerous remodelling, especially in the Baroque period, the façade was added in 1907. 

 

The shrine is the destination for the devout pilgrimage on the 8th September, people will come fro all over the Madonie. 

 

There is a ornate Baroque alter containing a stature of the Virgin, probably the work of Antonello Gagini done 1534 at the behest of hermit Brother Guiliano da Placia. The alter made in 1684 originally intended for the Cathedral in Palermo.

 

Next to monastery in a building previously used as a stable and guest quarters is a small museum, dedicated to the life and culture of Capuchin friars in the area of sacred vestments and religious paintings on display and other objects relating to their everyday life.

 

Down in the catacombs there are rare reliquaries in painted tin or wood made by the friars.