Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Visit to Muro Lucano, Southern Italy, June 20, 2007

Wednesday, June 20, was the date of our visit to Muro Lucano, the village where St. Gerard Meilla was born (April 6, 1726) and where he grew up and worked as tailor before he joined the Redemptorists. Muro Lucano which is a little city today, is located on the foothills as well as the top of a mountain.

This is the road that leads towards the center of the city.

We got off the bus then walked the narrow streets towards the plaza of the city where one has a view of the whole of Muro Lucano.

At the plaza which is at the top of one of the mountains of Muro Lucano.

At the plaza stands a statue of St. Gerard. Gary poses in front of the statue while Anton takes his photo sa Dan looks somewhere else.

Me and Bro. Anton from Vietnam, the only Brothers in the group.

Genaro, a member of the local organization that takes care of looking after pilgrims to Muro Lucano arrives to give Felix a plan for the day. Robert, Witold and Jareck waits for instructions.

Me with Jareck and Robert.

The orientation begins at the foot of the statue of St. Gerard.

A view of Muro Lucano that embraces the side of mountains.

Felix translates what Genaro has to say about Muro Lucano.

Members of the pilrimage group listen attentively to Genaro.

Brian looks out to the part of Muro Lucano where the village sprung up. This part which is at the plains was fortified to protect the place from raiders like Hannibal and his troupe. Thus the name Muro (fortified) Lucano.

A focused view of where Muro Lucano originated and where the village expanded as the people transferred their homes to the side of the mountains where they would be better protected from invaders.

The awesome cliffs of Muro Lucano on the other side of the mountain range.

New settlements have sprung up through the years beyond the cliffs.

A view from the plaza on top of the mountain to the new settlements. Frank and John enjoy the view.

From the top of the mountain, we climbed down the stairway that takes us to an old castle which now serves as part of the tourist complex. It is a castello mediovale.

Beside the castle is a bronze statue of St. Gerard. The group gathers in front of the statue for Genearo's explanations.

It is a beautiful statue with St. Gerard looking more robust and less pious. Note that he holds the crucifix so that it jots out, rather than placed on his bosom. Genaro says that it is considered one of the best sculpture of St. Gerard.

George and Witold gaze at the statue as the others gazed elsewhere.

The group then went to see the archaeological museum.

A sign outside the museum.

A section of the museum shows the manner of digging conducted in this area.

A view of Muro Lucano from a window inside the museum.

This exhibit shows the different layers of archaeological diggings conducted in Muro Lucano through the centuries from the early years to the Roman times and to the present.

The potteries excavated in these diggings, showing that the making of ceremics go back many centuries before.

These jars were used as burial jars for small children.

Genaro explains a part of the fortified walls around Muro Lucano as Felix translates.

Heads of statues of gods and goddesses during the Roman period which were retrieved from the diggings.

These were burial monuments also retrived from the diggings and brought to this museum for viewing.

The mosaics that have been retrieved are quite impressive.

So also the remnants of ceremics and jewelry used by women of that era.

From the higher ground, one can look down on the first section of Muro Lucano on this side of the mountain. Note the bell tower. Near to the church was the house where St. Gerard was born and grew up. As a young boy he would walk down this road towars the hill across where he had a playmate who gave him bread. That playmate was Jesus.

Later, St. Gerard's family moved to the other side of the village which is this spot now. There, his playmate came again to play with him.

This is the place where St. Gerard worked as a tailor. The marker on the wall gives this information.

The door leading to the tailoring shop which has been converted into a chapel.

Inside the chapel.

On the ceiling of this chapel is a painting of the family who owned the tailoring shop and Gerard as a young boy. He was maltreated by most of the members of this family. However, he forgave them.

It was a very hot day when we visited this place, but inside the chapel, it was quite cool.

New houses have been built in this part of Muro Locano.

Outside the church of the parish in Muro Lucano.

Across the church are shops and newly constructed homes going up the hill.

Inside the church.

Another side of Muro Lucano that shows the castle on top of the mountain and the statue of St. Gerard.

We then visited the chapel which is located in the site where St. Gerard played with Jesus. This painting shows the child giving bread to Gerard. Note that the painting shows Mary no longer holding Jesus.
This is the statue of Our Lady with Jesus which appears in the painting. This statue has always been in this chapel since the time when Gerard was just a young boy.

The woman in charge of this chapel prepares for the Mass that we were all going to attend.

A statue of Gerard inside the chapel.

Ives catches up with everyone as we went to the convent of the Gerardine Sisters for lunch. The Gerardine Sisters were founded by a diocesan priest.

A last pose in front of the chapel before we returned to Materdomini. It is a hot day!


Blogger Joan said...

I would like to thank you for posting your information about your trip to Muro Lucano. Two of my grandparents were from there. they emigrated to the United States around 1904. I am sorry to say that I knew very little about their town. Your pictures have inspired me to go there for a visit. Thank you again for your information.

7:40 PM  
Blogger Gerardine said...

I would like to thank you so much for posting breath taking views of Muro Lucano. I was born in Muro Lucano on October 16, 1958 on St. Gerardo's anniversary of his death. My parents named me after St. Gerardo. My family and I imigrated to Albany, NY in 1966 and I have not been back to see my hometown. I am hoping that some day my dream comes true. Looking at all the photos brought back a lot of memories. My parents have both passed away. I hope to fulfill my dream and my parents' dream.

8:24 PM  
Blogger Jim Saracini said...

Thanks so much for your wonderful pictures of Muro Lucano. I'm planning a family trip for one day to our grandparents village in April 2010. You have provided some excellent information on where to go and what to see. Could you provide me with any direct contact info for any English speaking guides (Genaro?)? My email address is Thanks again!

8:58 AM  
Blogger Julie said...

Thank you for writing this post. My cousin sent it to me,it is where my grandparents were born. I have not visited but now I know a little more about it and how it looks. I so appreciate your photos.

Julie Anne.
my website.
my blog

10:11 AM  
Blogger Cara said...

Thanks for the nice summary of your trip to Muro Lucano. My grandmother's family emmigrated from there to NYC in the early 1900's, and I was able to take my grandma to see the town before she died. It was a treasured journey and I enjoyed remembering our trip as I looked at your pictures.

1:27 PM  

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