The many things there are to do and discover in Todi also include the visit and the Pilgrimage to Collevalenza: Mother Speranza’s Sanctuary – Sanctuary of Collevalenza , the destination for thousands of visitors.
Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims go to the church to pray to Mother Speranza, founder of the Congregation of the Handmaids and Sons of Merciful Love every year: a continuous flow that never peters in any period, but only intensifies during the main religious events and in spring and summer.
Mother Speranza was born in Santomera, in Spain, in 1893 from a poor family of which she was the eldest of nine children. As a young child she was raised by the parson of the city and at this clergyman’s home she developed her religious vocation.
She took her vows in 1914 and in 1930 founded the Congregation of the Handmaids of Merciful Love.
In the 50s she established the male branch of the congregation, the Sons of Merciful Love, and in 1951 she came to Todi, specifically Collevalenza, with some fellow sisters.
She decided to settle there and found a sanctuary dedicated to the Merciful Love of God: this was her life’s mission.
In 1981 also Pope John Paul II visited the sanctuary and Mother Speranza.
She has been recognised as performing miracles and prodigious events including the time she healed a young boy who was afflicted with numerous serious intolerances and was unable to feed and which led to the nun’s beatification process, occurring in 2013 when it was approved and celebrated in Collevalenza in 2014.
Pilgrimage to Mother Speranza’s Sanctuary Collevalenza
Every year the sanctuary is visited by approximately 200 thousand pilgrims and is considered a “little Lourdes” also because of its pools that are considered miraculous.
Many pilgrims (approximately 50 thousand a year) immerse themselves in the water of Collevalenza, but there are many other reasons why devotees to go to this sacred village in the Todi area.
The visit to the church is an emotional experience in itself, as it also offers the chance to pray on Mother Speranza’s tomb, who passed away in Collevalenza in 1983.
You then have the large Crucifix of Merciful Love, the well that the prodigious water comes from, the Via Crucis, the large statue of Mary Mediatrix, the enchanting permanent nativity scene.
The pilgrimage to Mother Speranza’s Sanctuary can be an excellent occasion to visit the city of Todi and Umbria, the perfect example of a mystical land very rich in very important religious and spiritual places.