The statue of Our Lady of Bonaria: the story of a chest that refused to sink
All that an island possesses, starting from its borders, starting from its shape, is given to it by the sea.
And it is from there inevitably that the outside world comes to the island and becomes part of the island’s internal world. Thus, a shipwreck may become, instead of the end, the beginning of a new story, the discovery of one’s true home, provided there is at least an island to cling on to. One such instance of
As the story goes, on 25 March 1370 a ship, bound from Catalonia to Italy, got caught in a sudden violent storm. Seeing that things were worsening and to avoid becoming food for the fish, its Captain ordered that the ship’s cargo
The mysterious chest, now floating like a boat, went its own way, following an entirely different course from that planned by the
Faced with this extraordinary phenomenon, worried this could portend either a miracle or the devil’s work, the good citizens of Cagliari enlisted the help of the Mercedarian friars who lived and prayed in their monastery on the hill of Bonaria. The friars came down from their sacred abode, and to the amazement of all, they lifted the chest effortlessly, a sign that the strength needed here was that of faith, not of muscle. With their load, followed by a procession of curious townsfolk, they made their way back to the monastery, where they proceeded to open the chest, again with no great problems. When the contents appeared before their eyes, many of the mysteries and strange events that from the start had surrounded the object washed in by the sea rapidly became clear. A great wooden statue, that’s what the chest contained. A wooden statue depicting the Virgin with the Child. Just imagine the joy of the friars and citizens when faced with this sight, as the lid was slowly opened. Their joy which became astonished adoration, when finally they saw that the Madonna was holding in her right hand a
So perhaps now you can better understand why an island dweller, even if only for a moment, always