Santuario Madonna delle Grazie
In Folgaria - the Holy Patron of skiers.
Tradition has it that Brother Pietro Dal Dosso di Folgaria - a young Hermit Friar of the Order Saint Jerome of Vicenza - was inspired directly by the Virgin Mary into building a small church in her honour on the Echen peak during the second half of the 16th century. Obediently, the friar began his work, and built a small chapel occupying what is now the apse of the Sanctuary of the Madonna delle Grazie. In the 17th century, the Magnifica Comunità di Folgaria expanded the small building and endowed it with a bell tower (1662). The Sanctuary currently hosts the Madonnina miracolosa, which was declared Holy Patron of Skiers by Papal Decree.
The terracotta statue of the Virgin Mary dates back to the second half of the 16th century and is worshipped by thousands of believers, who hold an ancient feast - as well as a solemn procession - on the 8th of September every year, when the statue is carried by ski instructors. All along its age-old history, the Sanctuary of Echen has always been a pilgrimage destination, and numerous worshipers have put up their own votive offers for graces received in the small church. The Sanctuary is approximately 2 km away from Folgaria, near the hamlet of Costa, and can be easily reached on foot after an easy walk.