The plague, which caused so much massacre across Europe, struck the populous city of Nicosia, a city in the centre of Sicily, in 1626.

Nine thousand people had, unfortunately, already perished and consequently squalor and terror reigned among the survivors.

This was helped by the hand of Almighty God who performed a miracle. Legend has it that a simple virgin of the monastery of the Immaculate Conception in Santa Cristina had a vision, in which she knew that in order to avert the scourge it was necessary to carry in procession through the streets of the city the simulacrum of Jesus Crucified, Father of Mercy.

The clergy and the Nicosian population were joyful, even if the agglomeration of a crowd was a danger of destruction.

The Nicosians had faith and when the simulacrum approached near the “lazzaretto” or leper hospital, set up in the plan of St. Elias, the sick were cured, even the most serious.

The procession ended with rivers of tears and songs of Joy. This miracle is remembered in Nicosia on the third Friday of November of each year!

The Father of Mercy is kept inside the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in Nicosia (En).

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Domenico Rizzo


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