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San Marco in Lamis

 

SAN MARCO IN LAMIS

 

San Marco in Lamis is a mountain town (550 metres asl) in the Gargano area, with a population of about 15,000. Since 1855 it has been part of the diocese of Foggia, but for many centuries it was “religiously governed” as a “nullius dioecisis”, first by abbots and then by commendatories, who were generally cardinals. There are six parishes in the town, plus another five churches; nearby is the Sanctuary of Saint Matthew and the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Stignano. Part of the municipal area lies within the Gargano National Park, and the surroundings are characterised by woods and remarkable karst phenomena. The town lies in a valley that for thousands of years has been one of the “gateways” of the Gargano area, traversed by millions of pilgrims on their way to the Grotta di San Michele, a cave famous for the apparition of the Archangel Michael, in the municipality of Monte Sant'Angelo, or to the Sanctuary of Saint Matthew; some of today's pilgrims travel on to San Giovanni Rotondo to pray to Saint Pius. The local economy has always revolved around farming, forestry, pastoral and craft activities; between the beginning and the middle of the 20th century, the population fell drastically, as a result of the local people emigrating in search of work and a better standard of living. These emigrants initially headed towards the Americas and Australia, later choosing Germany, France, Belgium and the major industrial areas of the rest of Italy.
The patron saints are Saint Mark the Evangelist and the Virgin of Sorrows.
The Sanctuary of Saint Matthew sits on the slopes of Monte Celano. It was originally a church and a hospice for pilgrims. Before the year 1000, the Black Benedictines built a monastery with the name of San Giovanni de Lama, which became one of the most important in the Capitanata area. In 1311 the Pope entrusted the monastery to the Cistercian monks of the abbey of Santa Maria di Casanova in Abruzzo, after which it was run by a long series of commendatory abbots. In 1578 the legal structure of the abbey was given over to the town, whilst the sacred walls went to the Franciscan Friars Minor. In the 16th century the name was changed to Saint Matthew, because of the presence there of a relic of the saint. Over the last few centuries, the sanctuary has always been been a popular destination with pilgrims. A mention must be given to the famous library of the Sanctuary, which contains thousands of books, archaeological material and sacred objects.
The Sanctuary of Our Lady in the Valley of Stignano is pervaded by spirituality and history. It is one of the oldest Marian sanctuaries in the Foggia area, and boasts some of the finest architecture of the 16th century. Many pilgrims have visited it, and a large number of hermits lived in it for centuries, after which it passed into the hands of the Spanish Discalced Franciscan Friars and then to the Observant Friars Minor. It has always been a centre of faith and of culture, and the Church was consecrated in 1679 by Mons. Orsini, who went on to become Pope Benedict XIII.
The area produces a wide range of traditional speciality foods: bread and bakery products such as taralli, propato and canestrelli, encased meat products and fruit, as well as many renowned types of dairy produce, wine and oil.

San Marco in Lamis

Pro Loco - Tourist Office
Via della Repubblica, 28
0882831048 0882 832248

Town Police
0882/833975

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