|The Sanctuary of Collevalenza|
On a hilltop which gently slopes down, at about 6km from Todi, stands Collevalenza, a town along the national road Tiberina 3 bis, at about 100km North from Rome and 50km South from Perugia.
On the 18th of August 1951 Mother Speranza Alhama di Gesù, came to this village which is one of the 36 villages built in the municipal territory of Todi, with the sisters and with the first Sons of the Misery Love to teach and spread their devotion to Jesus of Misery Love.
Although she was very poor, she had a great dream in her fervent heart: to create a real spiritual centre from which it would be possible to spread in every direction the Misery Love's appeal on every soul.
Misery Love! This expression has become for Mother Speranza a spiritual guidance, a work programme and a fruitful seed.
The Sanctuary is the best architectural expression of Mother's ideal. The Sanctuary Misery Love can be found in the small town of Collevalenza. Designed by Giulio Lafuente, an architect from Madrid, in 1965, it is one of the most foreword examples of modern architecture.
The Sanctuary appears to the tourist as being very high, almost ethereal, on the top of the hill where it stands, and from a perspective point of view even higher than what it is, thanks to the steep flight of stairs towards its access, and in particular to the gigantic platform roofing that dominates on its façade, with an austere and crushing effect. This austerity, although lightened by the concave window and by the diagonal cutting on the platform roofing, does not have a lighter effect on tourists' souls. This is a desired impression and an eloquent allusion to the burden that the pilgrim has on himself and that this place invites to discharge.
The tourist who desires a place to pray, can go down into the crypt. Besides the Sanctuary there is the Casa del Pellegrino (the PilgrimÕs House), the Casa della Giovane (the Young womanÕs house) the Piscine per i malati (the swimming polls for ill people), il Pozzo (the well) whose story sounds like a miracle and the Fontana fed by this Pozzo.
Below, the Sanctuary is surrounded by a path more than 800mt long which creates what is called the Via Crucis.
The Sanctuary of the Misery Love has been given the name of Basilica by Pope Giovanni Paolo II in 1982.
Mother Speranza Alhama di Gesù died in Collevalenza on the 8th February 1983 and she has been buried here behind the Crypta's altar. In 1992 the diocesan trial for her canonization acquired a juridical value.