L'ICONA DELLA VERGINE E LA VESTIZIONEIn San Giovanni Rotondo, in the province of Foggia, there is a curious tradition for which you decorate with care and dedication on the ground floor of the houses of the town, to house the painting of Our Lady of the Seven Veils in view of the anniversary of his feast, on days 14 and 15 August.
Each of them is coated on the walls and at the top by bedclothes colored silk and embroidered veils and seven white and transparent, enhanced with necklaces or angels. The seven veils create a scenic view to the icon of Our Lady, at the center of the back wall of an altar adorned with statues of angels and of votive lamps. The carpets instead of covering the floors and any access stairs and on them are supported by the pots of basil scent the environment, but also other ornamental plants as well as the statues of angels or the Sleeping Child. Outside the entrance is adorned with a white sheet on which are hung with colored handkerchiefs for beautification and to symbolize the flames of Purgatory.
This custom has its roots in the discovery, which took place in the eleventh century by some herdsmen, an icon of the Virgin in a quagmire on which miraculously floated three flames. The swamp was located where today there is the Piazza del Lago in the city of Foggia in which the Virgin Mary is the patron saint and that preserves the original picture at the Cathedral. The famous Seven Veils enveloped the icon most likely because here was hidden to remove it from the iconoclastic fury of the Saracens that raged in the area.
The news of the discovery spread rapidly and in parallel, according to local tradition, they stopped famine and plague among the people who participated sangiovannese large in the pilgrimage itself by cutting a piece of cloth that wrapped the sacred icon and storing it as a relic . Then each piece of the relic was sewn into a framework of white cloth, which was then enriched with designs embroidered with gold thread. The pictures thus obtained were exposed as today on the feast and venerated by the faithful, and formed part of the dowry of the young women for their wedding. The brides were their usual offer bed covers, silk veils, the basil plants and ornaments necessary for the preparation of the premises chosen to host the picture of Our Lady of the Seven Veils saved to party. (http://notizie.comuni-italiani.it)