The origins and the 'Fire Miracle’
On February 8, 1558 a handful of Spanish soldiers set fire to the houses of the castle town of Fiorano. Everything was destroyed, but the image of the Madonna painted on the arch above the entrance portal of the old castle. The fame of the miracle spread quickly and many were the faithful who came to the village of Fiorano to venerate the sacred image. In 1630 Modena came to the plague and the FIORANESE recourse to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin, whose effigy was still exposed to the elements and made a vow that, if the country is to be saved from the scourge, They would begin the construction of a chapel. It was in this year that he began to build a sufficiently large Oratory to guard the sacred effigy of Our Lady. He chose to build the Fiorano hill, in alto. At Fiorano, there was no case of infection and 23 April 1631 was consecrated by the Bishop of Modena the new chapel dedicated to Our Lady. Once you placed the land occupied by the ruins of the old castle and prepared the draft to the Roman architect Bartolomeo Avanzini, under the Este Duchy of Francesco I, the 15 August 1634 He proceeded with a solemn ceremony to lay the foundation stone.
The birth of the Sanctuary and the appointment of Minor Basilica
In 1866 They resumed the construction of the Sanctuary of factory jobs (started in 1634 and interrupted in 1683), with the renovation of the dome and the renewal of the seventeenth-century paintings of Sigismund Caula by the Modenese artist Adeodato Malatesta. On September 8 1889 It was inaugurated the new marble facade and construction of the second tower of the Sanctuary. After the definitive fulfillment of the Temple, in 1906 painters Giuseppe Mazzoni and Alberto Artioli completed the interior decoration and the 13 September 1907 the Archbishop of Modena consecrated the sanctuary after the implementation of the additional construction work. In 1984, in the 350 'anniversary of the founding of the Sanctuary, Archbishop. Santo Bartolomeo Quadri, at the request of Don Eligio Silvestri, Rector of the Shrine, and Mons. Rino Annovi, Pastor of the Cathedral of Modena, gave start to the procedures so that the temple fioranese, acquiring an ever greater dignity, He was ranked among the minor basilicas. The Papal Decree 27 September 1989 He has finally established the highest award at the Sanctuary. Pope John Paul II raised the temple of Fiorano to the dignity and the status of Minor Basilica with associated rights and privileges, confirming them the right of way over all other churches.
The Sanctuary of Fiorano is the fourth minor basilica of the Diocese of Modena-Nonantola, with the Cathedral and the church of San Pietro di Modena and the Abbey of San Silvestro of Nonantola. About 370 years, then, from the construction of the first Oratory on the hill dedicated to the image of the Miraculous Virgin, the seventeenth-century Sanctuary of Fiorano received by the Pontiff the coveted honor of the basilica title, with which its long history has been crowned, It was set up by that distant 8 February of 1558. in September 1998, to four hundred and forty years from that incident, to the municipal administration by Fiorano and with the collaboration of the parish fioranese, It has been cataloged the precious collection of ex-voto of the Sanctuary, which now can document the real aspects of the socio-economic and religious fabric of daily life as well as the Fiorano community in its historical evolution. The collection became a permanent exhibition within the temple itself, votive tablets, hearts in silver foil, former object are then vote to constitute a valuable historical and artistic heritage, an important group of religious and civil memories, attesting to the strong popular devotion to the miraculous image of the Madonna and her Sanctuary.
The birth of devotion
The popular devotion to the Sanctuary and the image Miraculous grew hand in hand with building construction work: increased donations, offers and pilgrims. In annual Functions, especially for the celebration of ' 8 September, day of the Nativity of Mary, the number of the faithful became immense and unprecedented. Suffice to say that as a result of a subsequent fire in Miracle 1670, the celebration of 8 September 1672 They attended by more than thirty thousand people. Tangible evidence of popular devotion were the numerous objects, offered at the altar of Our Lady, that still they tell the story of miracles and favors received.