Nostra Signora di Bonaria: to discover the great devotion of the Sardinian people

Bonaria Cagliari Sardinia

On September 13th, 1907, she was proclaimed Patroness of Sardinia by Pope Pius X. Since that day, she has become one of the most popular saints of the whole island. It’s Our Lady of Bonaria, Nostra Signora di Bonaria in Italian.

 

The legend

On March 25th, 1370, a ship was sailing from Catalonia to Italy but it was seized by a terrible storm. The captain ordered to jettison the cargo. Even a mysterious crate: no one on the ship knew what it contained.

When the crate touched the water, the storm ceased. Then, the crate landed near the Bonaria hill, in Cagliari. Only the Mercedarian friars could bring it to their convent on the hill. When the friars opened the crate, they found a large wooden statue of the Madonna and Child.

In the hand of the statue, there was a lit candle. Since then, it was called Our Lady of Bonaria.

 

Nostra Signora di Bonaria in Cagliari

The sanctuary of Our Lady of Bonaria in Cagliari is located in Piazza Bonaria, on the top of the homonymous hill. You can see the building in the picture: it’s a small church near a larger temple. And it is the very first Catalan Gothic architecture building in Sardinia.

Its construction began in the first half of 1300 BC. The church has the form of the so-called Latin Cross and is divided into three naves. The most beautiful parts are the high altar, surmounted by a canopy supported by four marble columns.

 

Nostra Signora di Bonaria in Sardinia

Although the one in Cagliari can be considered the most important sanctuary, the cult of Our Lady of Bonaria is widespread in the whole island. In honour of the saint, several other churches, which draw a sort of itinerary, were built:

  • chiesa di Nostra Signora di Bonaria in Loceri in Monte Cuccu;
  • chiesa di Nostra Signora di Bonaria in Bono;
  • chiesa parrocchiale di Nostra Signora di Bonaria in Cala Gonone (Dorgali);
  • chiesa di Nostra Signora di Bonaria in Gonare (Dorgali);
  • chiesa di Nostra Signora di Bonaria in Osilo;
  • chiesa parrocchiale di Nostra Signora di Bonaria in Sant’Antioco;
  • chiesa parrocchiale di Nostra Signora di Bonaria in Marceddì (Terralba);
  • chiesa di nostra Signora di Bonaria on Piana Island;
  • chiesa di Nostra Signora di Bonaria in Sant’Andrea Frius;
  • chiesa di Nostra Signora di Bonaria in Costa Rei.

 

In this way, you will visit the whole island and discover some of the most beautiful places of Sardinia.

 

Image source: Di Angelo – Opera propria, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=43425311

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