The first time the presence of the Virgin Mary was felt through miraculous healings dates to 1652. Then, where today rises the sanctuary, was a small chapel, perched on a hill in Laghet in the territory of La Trinité. Father Jacques Fighiera, priest in nearby Eze, had the church restored in 1625 and donated the statue of Our Lady that can still be admired today in the sanctuary.
The so-called miracles attributed to Our Lady of Laghet continued over the centuries and among these is also the one involving a child, Giovanni Croese, from Camporosso. Seriously ill, he was taken to the sanctuary and recovered immediately. The boy thanked the Virgin offering himself by becoming a friar under the name of Francesco Maria da Camporosso. His gifts of altruism allowed him to help families in difficulty quickly and continuously, especially those of sailors and emigrants in America for which he was soon known as father Saint. Extremely strict on himself, he subjected himself to penitence by sleeping on bare boards and was happy with just pieces of bread soaked in hot water and always walked around barefoot in the convent as well as in the streets of the city. He was proclaimed saint by Pope John XXIII in 1962.
Four centuries of miracles testified by over 4 thousand votive offerings in the Sanctuary, one of the richest in Europe. The gifts to the Virgin Mary made by believers can be admired in the votive museum, in the corridors of the convent and in the crypt. They consist in paintings depicting the favours that were granted or small marble plaques. Other gifts are represented by brides’ bouquets and baptism favours. From the first miracle in 1652, the year called “prodigy of Laghet”, 36 miracles were registered but only 22 of these were acknowledged by the theological commission.
The Benedictine nuns of the Sacré Cœur de Montmartre moved to the sanctuary in 1978, serving in the diocese. The sanctuary of Laghet is open to all faithfuls and visitors every day from 7:00 am to 09:30 pm.