History of the magazine

the Madonna of Castelmonte
la rivista Madonna di Castelmonte

The P. Eleuterio Tonini da Rovigo, the first Capuchin custodian of the sanctuary of Castelmonte, indicated the aims of the new publication in the essay number of the Bulletin: to bring down the word of Mary from the mountain, to reach «the many devotees and reassure them that their pleas are not forgotten and that even from afar the Blessed Virgin of Castelmonte watches and protects them.
And this word of Mary will come down from the mountain brought by the Bulletin» (MdC 1, November 1914, p.1).
«The program of our small periodical is easy to say: "Maintain and as far as possible increase the devotion to Mary in general, and in particular to our very ancient Sanctuary"…».

As soon as he went up to Castelmonte (September 5, 1913), Fr. Eleuterio had immediately thought of a press organ of the sanctuary, but the box was sadly empty. After a few months, however, a substantial contribution arrived as a grace from the Madonna, as the February 1943 Bulletin will tell: «In 1914, when there was thought of founding the Bulletin of the Madonna, but it was not possible, due to lack of means, a winter evening, under the snow flakes,

Giuseppe Brosadola [lawyer, mayor of Cividale, worthy in the political and religious fields, ed.] presented himself to Fr. custodian and placed in his hand a considerable sum (350 lire) which allowed the publication of the Bulletin to begin».

About a thousand copies of the essay issue (November 1914) were printed and distributed free of charge, which yielded 500 subscriptions, mostly from parish priests in Friuli. By the end of the first year, there were already 2,000 subscribers. The publication was suspended after the Caporetto rout (October 24, 1917) and resumed only in April 1921, still 8 pages, which gradually increased: 18, 16, 24... For the 70th «birthday» (1983 ) a notable restyling took place: format of 18.5x26 cm, 28 pages (from the previous 24). Finally, with the first issue of 1987, the pages were increased to the current 40.

The number of subscribers grew rapidly: in September 1922 there were 5,000, 38,000 in 1933; they reached their peak in the decade 1960-1970, with over 70,000 copies printed and shipped, a fair percentage of which was sent to members who emigrated to various countries around the world.

Particularly meritorious was the apostolate of the good press by zealots and women zealots, especially in the first period of life of the magazine, who spread the Bulletin door to door, collecting the membership fee annually. In the 1980s, the number of zealants reached around 2,000. The absolute majority was made up of women (elderly, adults, young people and even girls, as evidenced by the appreciations in various issues of the Bulletin). There are still over 700 zealots who generously offer their precious work of animation and collection of membership fees.

In 2009, our Bulletin was sent in over 40,000 copies a month to members of the "Universal Confraternity of Our Lady of Castelmonte" in Italy and around the world.

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