The Madonna dei Fiori di Bra appeared to a young woman freeing herself from the grip of two criminals. Since then, an extraordinary miracle has been repeated every year.
In Bra, in the province of Cuneo, there is an extraordinary plum garden that blooms, strangely, every year in winter. This has happened since the Madonna appeared on 29 December 1336 to a young pregnant woman married, Egidia Mathis, saving her on that occasion from the clutches of two ill-intentioned soldiers, and later helping her in childbirth.
The garden is located between the old and the new Sanctuary of the “Madonna dei Fiori”, at the end of a long avenue of elms and plane trees. The soldiers who attacked the young woman belonged to the same company that in those years was strongly attacking the whole of Piedmont. In particular, they were two foreign captains, an English and a German.
Their actions were motivated by a competition for who was most violent, and most capable of committing atrocities. Thus, motivated by these terrible reasons, day after day they destroyed the countryside, plundered homes, and put bounties on entire villages. Not to mention the numerous kidnappings.
The two criminals chased the beautiful Egidia and took up post
The young woman had been assigned every evening to bring milk and eggs to a wealthy family, and to reach her from her home she was forced to pass right in front of the guardhouse of these two soldiers. Every time she passed by, however, she had to endure coarse and foul-mouthed compliments . Egidia, when hearing them, pull her head straight down.
The girl, however, was very beautiful , and one of the two evildoers set his eyes on her very decisively. For this he studied her route and decided to throw himself on her as soon as she passed through there one more time.
The young woman invokes the Madonna dei Fiori with all her strength
Seeing her go by, humming, one of the two took up post behind a pylon. The woman felt two arms tighten around her neck suddenly. She gave a muffled cry of pain, and shortly after she fell to the ground, in front of the pylon , where, however, a Byzantine Madonna was painted.
” Holy Virgin Mary, help me “, the girl said in a faint voice. At that point the miracle took place. From the bushes came a great sudden light, so much so that the arid vegetation seemed to have blossomed suddenly. The whole pylon was enveloped in this light that came down from the sky. The two soldiers, stunned, ran away.
The girl understood that the Madonna was in front of her
Egidia, once she realized that the two had fled, stood up and saw in front of her a shining lady to reassure her . Turning to the pylon, she saw that the image in the niche was gone. After a while that Woman disappeared, but she left all the miraculously flowered countryside around her, despite the fact that it was a December night.
The girl was sorry because she could not ask Maria any questions. However, she realized that she was about to give birth, in advance. She took refuge in the nearby bushes, and gave birth to her baby. It was very cold that night, so she tried to shelter him in her arms. At that point the same Lady appeared again to her, comforted her and took her son in her arms , wrapping him up.
Every year the miraculous flowering of the Madonna dei Fiori is repeated
The thorns in the middle of which Egidia had sheltered, she realized that they too had miraculously blossomed. At that moment she came to understand: the one in front of her was the Madonna. Back home she told everyone what had happened, and when they all went back to the place of the miracle they saw that the bushes were still in bloom. The woman was telling the truth.
From that moment, in a completely prodigious way , every winter the flowering of that garden is repeated. In fact, since then, botanists and scholars have studied the phenomenon without ever reaching a scientific explanation. Today, precisely in memory of that extraordinary moment, the custom of bringing to the Madonna dei Fiori the ribbon that commemorates the announcement of the birth of the children who are to be consecrated to the Madonna still remains in force.
Prayer to the Madonna dei Fiori of Bra
Most Holy Virgin Mary , Mother of Jesus, whom you deigned to give a sign of your heavenly protection by making wild little plants blossom every year at your Shrine in the winter days, oh dear! You beloved flower of heaven, let the flowers of the virtues most dear to you sprout in our sterile heart, with which we can please your Son and you more here on earth, to make you a beautiful crown one day in the heavenly homeland. Amen. Virgin of Flowers Patroness of Bra pray for us!