The Sanctuary of Monte Sant'Angelo sul Gargano, sometimes called simply Monte Gargano, is a Catholic sanctuary on Mount Gargano, Italy
, part of the commune of Monte Sant'Angelo, in the province of Foggia
, northern Apulia.
It is the oldest shrine in Western Europe
dedicated to the archangel Michael and has been an important pilgrimage site since the Middle Ages. The historic site and its environs are protected by the Parco Nazionale del Gargano.
In 2011, it became a UNESCO World
Heritage Site as part of a group of seven inscribed as Longobards in Italy. Places of the power (568-774 A.D.).
During centuries, millions of pilgrims went to Monte Sant'Angelo in order to visit the “Celestial Basilica”. Among the pilgrims who visited the Saint Michael Archangel Sanctuary were many popes (Gelasius I, Leo IX, Urban II, Alexander III, Gregory X, Celestine V, John XXIII as Cardinal, John Paul II), saints (Bridget of Sweden
, Bernard of Clairvaux, Thomas Aquinas) emperors, kings and princes (Louis II of Italy, Otto III, Herny II, Matilda of Tuscany, Charles I of Naples, Ferdinand II of Aragon).
Also Francis of Assisi went to visit the Sanctuary, but feeling himself unworthy to enter the grotto, he stopped in prayer and meditation at the entrance, kissed and carved on a stone the sign of the cross in the form of “T” (tau).