Santuario della Madonna del Divino Amore
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Santuario della Madonna del Divino Amore is a pilgrimage shrine dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, located on the Via Ardeatina to the south of the Circonvallazione Meridionale. There are two churches, a small old one and a large new one. The shrine is also the center of a parish, both being administered by the Oblati Figli della Madonna del Divino Amore, and the parish has the official name of Santa Maria del Divino Amore a Castel di Leva.
At the end of the 13th century the Benedictines built a fortified farmstead here called Lion's Castle (Castello del Leone). In 1570, the place was in the ownership of the Confraternity of Santa Caterina della Rota, and in that year they received the donation of the original icon from a priest named Cosimo Giustini. They sent the icon down to the farmstead and hung it on the tower above the gateway, where it remained for 170 years. In 1740 a miracle was attributed to the icon by a passing pilgrim. In 1743 a chapel was completed to house the icon. A new sanctuary church which could hold a large congregation was inaugurated by Pope John Paul II on July 4th 1999. The new sanctuary church, designed by Luigi Leoni, was begun in 1987 and completed in 1999.
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