VI RACCONTO TORINO

Santuario della consolata

Le origini della Consolata, Patrona dell’Arcidiocesi, sono molto remote. Secondo la tradizione il protovescovo S. Massimo costruì un’antica chiesa mariana a ridosso delle mura cittadine, presso la torre angolare i cui resti sono ancora visibili.

Allineato alle antiche mura, sorge oggi l’altare maggiore dove è collocata la veneratissima effige. 

Il nome di “Consolata” probabilmente è un’antica storpiatura dialettale, la “Consolà”, oppure di “Consolarix Afflictorum”.

Re Arduino di Ivrea, ritiratosi nell’Abbazia di Fruttuaria, sognò la Madonna, che gli chiedeva di costruire tre chiese a lei dedicate: la Consolata, Belmonte nel Canavese e Crea nel Monferrato.

Nel 1104 la Vergine apparve anche a un cieco di Briancon, Giovanni Ravacchio, al quale disse di recarsi a Torino dove, trovando un quadro che la rappresentava, avrebbe acquistato la vista. Messosi in viaggio, giunse finalmente alla meta e scavando trovò l’immagine della Vergine da cui fu miracolato, ottenendo il dono della vista.

Probabilmente l’immagine era stata nascosta durante l’imperversare dell’eresia del vescovo iconoclasta Claudio, affinché non fosse distrutta. Fu il vescovo Mainardo, che ricollocò l’effige con i dovuti onori.

Oggi, l’immagine non esiste più…

…vi è però, nella parte bassa del Santuario la cappella sotterranea detta “delle Grazie”.

Il complesso di S. Andrea (antico titolo del Santuario) era retto dai benedettini che si erano rifugiati a causa delle scorribande saracene nella Novalesa. La loro presenza è dimostrata dall’imponente campanile in stile romanico-lombardo e le reliquie di S. Valerico Abate, collocate nell’altare a lui dedicato.

Il quadro oggi venerato, opera della fine del XV secolo, è attribuito ad Antoniazzo Romano donato dal Cardinale della Rovere e s’ispira alla Madonna del Popolo di Roma.

LA DEVOZIONE DELLA CITTÀ VERSO LA VERGINE FU COSTANTE.

Savoia furono attenti ai vari interventi costruttivi e fecero sì che vi lavorassero i migliori artisti.

L’attuale impostazione dell’edificio si deve a Guarino Guarini, che trasformò l’antica chiesa di S.Andrea, mentre l’altare maggiore è opera di Filippo Juvarra. Nel 1904 Carlo Ceppi su commissione del Rettore Beato Giuseppe Allamano, aggiunse le quattro cappelle laterali.

La devozione della città verso la Vergine Consolata è testimoniata da centinaia di ex-voto presenti.

Tra i vari avvenimenti in cui la Consolata fu invocata con fervore, c’è l’assedio di Torino da parte dei francesi nel 1706. La città resistette per mesi agli attacchi dell’esercito nemico.

Dopo l’eroico gesto di Pietro Micca, il 7 settembre giunse finalmente la vittoria, vigilia della festa della Natività di Maria. Decine di pilastrini con scolpita l’immagine della Consolata furono allora collocati lungo il campo di battaglia (l’attuale Borgo Vittoria). Ancora oggi è visibile una palla di cannone rimasta conficcata vicino alla cupola.

UN NUOVO VOTO FU FATTO NEL 1835, DURANTE L’EPIDEMIA DI COLERA.

In ringraziamento dell’esiguo numero di vittime fu eretta all’esterno del Santuario una colonna con la statua della Vergine.

Nel 1852 scoppiò la polveriera di Borgo Dora, il vicino ospedale Cottolengo subì gravissimi danni, tra le macerie rimase illesa un’immagine della Consolata e fortunatamente non si registrò nessuna vittima.

I torinesi si rivolsero alla Consolata anche durante le due Guerre Mondiali: c’è lo ricordano centinaia di spalline militari, croci di guerra, un’edicola all’esterno e una lapide all’interno.

Nel 1906 S. Pio X conferì al Santuario il titolo di Basilica Minore.
La festa si celebra il 20 giugno.

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