The Shrine of the Sacred Heart is one of the main churches in the south-eastern Sicily, a place of devotion for pilgrims from all over Italy. It is located in the upper part of the town, between the narrow streets of the populous district. Originally it was the humble home of a young widow Carmela Aprile. The story begins when Carmela buys from a street vendor a modest picture of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The nineteenth century print reveals healing powers. The cult of the Sacred Heart has increased over the years, and now that place is a sanctuary. It is related to the wonders of the miraculous painting of the “Sacred Heart of Jesus” that thanks to the “Servant of God Mother Carmela Aprile” was involved in numerous miracles and wonders.
THEThe foundation of the Shrine of the Sacred Heart is involved to the vicissitudes of Mother Carmela, born on April 5th 1878 in Rosolini. Her house is located in the ancient Via Toselli, today called “via Sacro Cuore”, that in the past became a destination for devotees and sinners who offered gifts and invoked thanks. In 1958, the Sanctuary obtained its canonical accommodation in the Order of the Visitation of Holy Mary, grew enough to accommodate young orphans. The picture of the Sacred Heart is worshiped at the altar of the ancient house and the new building, decorated with a series of paintings of the artist Pippo Ognibene and embellished by a sculpture of the famous artist Iano Lauretta, continues to receive the prayers of the devotees. The sanctuary is divided into two parts: the Church and the Convent of the Sacred Heart. The modern Church of the Sacred Heart was designed in 1979 by the architect Giuseppe Condorelli. The religious festival is celebrated on the last Sunday of September with great participation from the very early hours of the morning with pilgrimages and votive gifts including devotion to dress up in the religious habit created by Mother Carmela as a thanksgiving for the favors received.