Ebony wood skin or blackened by the smoke of the candles? Is it only a copy of the Madonna Nera (Black Madonna) of Einsiedeln (Switzerland)? These are the rumors when a visitor, used to seeing the many images of a “western” Holy Virgin, sees such a peculiar religious emblem (the most famous dark skinned Madonna is in the Sanctuary of Oropa).

The small Oratory in Rogaro which has lodged the sacred effigy since 19th September 1736, is the only one in Italy to be dedicated to the Blessed Virgin of Einsiedeln. Of great interest is the portal inscription taken from the Song of Songs of Salomon: “Nigra sum sed formosa” to indicate a pride in its presumed diversity. In the Oratory there is also a precious relic: a particle of a bone of the Saint and Martyr Monk Meinradt and a picture of him; the saint was proclaimed patron saint of the Balilla of Tremezzo during Fascism.

The Oratory dominates a coquettish baroque square, enriched by a Roman sarcophagus cover with a medieval coppella; in the square the asparagus, a typical product of the area, is celebrated every third Sunday of May and even an auction for the most beautiful bunches takes place the same day.


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