Entering Garibaldi Gate, or the Sea Gate (one of the four ancient gates of Marsala), the first church you can meet with is the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Sorrow.

Though the church is small, it is the most frequented by Marsala people and destination of many pilgrimages. The history of this church is rather miraculous. Near the arch of the Sea Gate (Porta di Mare), there was located a chapel with a statue consecrarted to the Immaculate Comception and it was frequented by many believers, particularly in cases of calamity.

It is said that in 1691, during the winter, Marsala was ravaged by a terrible storm with thunders and lightnings.
The people frightened took refuge under the Sea Gate and began to beseech the Virgin to be saved from the terrible storm. All of a sudden a lightning with a terrible crash, after grazing many persons in prayer, struck to death a horse, belonging to a young man who fatally had stopped to pray the Virgin. People made a great clamour over it, and from that moment on the Image was called “The Linghtning Virgin”.
On 14 July 1691, the Marsala people, to show their gratefulness to the Virgin, with the consent of the Town Senate, together with the offerings collected, decided to build a church on the very place of the chapel.
The new church rose from the restructure of the armony of the neighbouring military quarte; its shape was rectangular, its shape was rectangular, its door was situated in the Sea Gate entrance.
The Vigin’s Image was placed on the high altar (at present it is on the right side Chapel).
In October 1750, Our Lady of Sorrow Congregation, founded in 1746 by a priest, Gaspare Rallo, having increased the number of its members, whit the consent of the Town Senate, moved from St. John of Rodi’s Church to Our Lawasof Ligthing’s.
When Father Giovanni Tommaso Morana(1770) was rector, in consequence of an increased influx of believers, the church had become insufficient and so it was necessary to widen and renew it.
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