Madonna delle Milizie

When I arrived at the friary here in Rome, Santa Maria di Nazareth on via Boccea, I was confronted by a picture of this painting in the entrance way of the friary. It is called La Battaglia de Milici by Bartolomeo Pascucci. Pretty awesome painting of Our Lady on a horse with a sword, no?

The painting is associated with a historical event that took place in Scilci, Italy:

The city is famous for a lot of festivities and traditional tales. One of this is based upon the presence of the statue of the “Madonna delle Milizie”, the only fighter Madonna of Christianity. The statue is situated inside the church. According to the tradition, she came down from the heaven on a white horse in order to save the Christians from the incursions of the “Saracens”.

On the last Sunday of May a play takes place recalls the battle between Normans and Arabs [translation slightly edited].

“According to the tradition”? Isn’t this what She always does?

Here is the image the people of Scicli venerate: