Forza d'Agrò paese medievale a due passi da Taormina e l'Etna. Ricco d'arte, storia e cultura, panorami mozzafiato. Famoso per aver accolto i cast di moltissimi film tra i quali Il Padrino parte I, Parte II e Parte III che hanno conseguito 27 nominations e 9 Oscar

 Forza d'Agrò paese medievale a due passi da Taormina e l'Etna. Ricco di arte, storia e cultura, panorami mozzafiato. Famoso per aver accolto i cast di molti film.

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The Church of the “Madonna Child”

A photographic reproduction of the panorama of Forza d'Agrò from the beginning of the 1900s, recorded in the book of Stefano Bottari, is particularly important because on the right, at the base of the rock on which the Castle stands, are visible the completely white facade and upper undulating lines of a church. In the same book, in a photograph of the house of Miano, the view of the main street is also revealing as, upon inspection, in the background is visible a steep staircase. These photographs represent some of the few remaining documents showing traces of a church that once existed.

It is the Church of the Madonna Child, also called “da Matri ‘a luci” (that is, “Madonna of the Light”), that stood in via SS. Annunziata in the area today still called “Avanzi ‘a luci” from the name of the church.

The small church was positioned in an area elevated above the level of the main street and approached by climbing a steep staircase, similar to that which leads to the Church of the Triad. It consisted of a first stretch of rectilinear steps and then, after a brief interruption, a second “flight” with curvilinear steps. The facade of the religious building faced towards the east. The interior must have been very simple, with a main altar adorned by a painting of the “Madonna Child”, of unknown dimensions and of which today nothing more is known.

It is said that at one time deceased children were interred in the underground crypt of this church.

In particular, the women of Forza d'Agrò remember that in the last period of activity in the church only the birth of the Virgin Mary was celebrated with a solemn mass on the 8th of September and that during the easter period a Holy Tomb was made at the foot of the altar.

Some villagers remember that immediately after the 2nd World War religious ceremonies were no longer officiated in this church, the building was then bought by Mr. Giuseppe Mercurio from America where he had emigrated. After having had it demolished, in 1951 he converted it into a garage that still exists.

Other than a trace of the demolished roof of the church, visible on the external side walls of the adjoining houses on both via SS. Annunziata and the overlooking via Laino, on the main road remains the only relic in some way connected to the church: a large, square sectioned column made of blocks of sandstone, resting on a base which is larger at the bottom of the flight of steps and with a pointed upper extremity.

Translation by  Connie Badolato

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