Our Lady of the Tangerines

Apr 20, 2023 | written by:

In southern Italy the story of the so-called Madonna of the Mandarins is still quite widespread, and it's a very beautiful myth – Pope Francis himself has spoken about it in the past.

There is a legend about Our Lady, a tradition I was told exists in Southern Italy: Our Lady of the Mandarins. [...] It is a popular tale, but it is so beautiful: to forgive with our Mother beside us; to forgive with our Mother. Because this man, this woman who comes to the confessional, has a Mother in Heaven who will open the gate for them and will help them at the moment of entering Heaven. Always Our Lady, because Our Lady helps us too in the exercise of mercy. [1]. 

Our Lady of the Mandarins, in fact, is a symbol of mercy and closeness. Her character is well-described in a song written by the Neapolitan poet Ferdinando Russo (Naples, 25 November 1866 - Naples, 30 January 1927). In this song, it's said that sometimes even the angels in Paradise get up to mischief and if God notices, he punishes them, ordering them to be locked in a dark cell for a day and a night. The angels weep, but no one dares disobey God's orders. Only Our Lady of the Mandarins does, and she approaches the cell to give words of comfort and sweet mandarins to make the imprisoned angels' night less bitter.
In the words of Pope Francis, "It is a folk tale, but it is so beautiful."

And if you want to plant your own mandarin tree, you can do it here on Treedom!

[1] Vatica.va

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