Hermitage of San Venanzio - Raiano (Province L'Aquila)


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The hermitage is perched atop a spur jutting into the wild river of Aterno, within the ravines of St. Venanzio; according to tradition, the hermitage was constructed in the 12th-century, though the structure suggests some 15th-century construction. The interior consists of the main altar and two side altars dedicated to St. Peter and St. John the Baptist.

In front of the main altar is the balustrade, that leads to "Scala Santa", entirely dug into the rock and leading to a grotto identified as the site where the body of San Venanzio left an imprint.

Along the road leading to the sanctuary are three aedicules that held imprints left by body parts of the saint, mainly elbow and head. Pilgrims used to lie on the rock and insert the afflicted matching body part in order to heal pains and to prevent rheumatic sufferings and headache.

Pilgrims also used to pick a local grain nearby the sanctuary, named "grano di S. Venanzio", they were held to have healing powers.


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