Fraine (Fraìune in Abruzzo) stands on a hill, between the river Treste and the creek Lama. The structure of the fortified village still preserved its ancient medieval-style, with the Parish Church of San Silvestro that stands out as a building above around which the village is developed in concentric rings, built in 1846 in a nave of an older church. It was restored in baroque style, with a portal decorated with coat of arms. It houses a wooden organ painting such as “cabinet”. The bell tower has a square base and is built in stone.
The village of Fraine in the region of Abruzzo, Chieti province
The town was a stronghold of the Princes Caracciolo of San Buono. The memorial stone near the Sanctuary of Santa Maria Mater Domini is still engraved inscription “PSB” (Principles of San Buono) demonstrating how in the sixteenth century the monastery became part of the possessions of the family Caracciolo. The Church of Mater Domini, about 2 km from the town of Fraine, is now the center of faith and Marian pilgrimage. Established in 1056 on the site of an older church, guards inside the elegant fourteenth century wooden statue of the Madonna and Child.
It has a wooden roof while walls, floor, altar, all are in original local stone illuminated inside by a pair of single and a central rose window that let the sun caress the ancient statue and the altar.
Finally the structure is enriched by small Benedictine monastery at its side with two belfries, a beautiful monumental staircase and the small wood of ancient oaks that admirably embraces and exalts. Completed this wonderful place the happy spring water and the two fountains in stone.
The monastery is surrounded by the silence of a forest of ancient oaks, Vicenne Wood, a natural environment of extraordinary charm, to go through its beaten paths or hiking trails. The village’s economy is mainly based on agriculture and significant is the production of extra virgin olive oil. Its soil is a place particularly dear to the locals who have always kept in their memory as sacred ground. This belief stems from the story reminiscent (together with the ancient centuries-old oak disappeared in recent years) the wondrous apparition of the Blessed Virgin.
The story of the Blessed Virgin apparition
The story of Mary, Mater Domini, which is venerated in this place for centuries, dating back to the year 1000 AD. At that time, the village stood in Fraine old, located on the hill as a national guard. The residents were very active, engaged in the agricultural and rural life. There was then in Fraine a deaf-mute girl, poor from birth. She helped her parents worked the fields, bringing continuously grazing the flock. She spent her days watching the herd from dawn until sunset. One day, while she was sitting alone, with the watchful eyes of the flock, was hit by a great glow of a large oak tree and heard a strange voice … It was the first time she perceived a sound, in fact, she looked stunned and frightened on oak not far from her, a beautiful lady, dressed in white with a baby in her arms. The Virgin comforting invited her to call her parents. Meanwhile, parents, busy in their work, while hearing these cries, did not respond in fact they did not think it was their daughter deaf. The girl confused and resentful indifference of parents, returned from the beautiful Lady. Encouraging the Virgin replied: “Do not despair, back from them, them here as I have a message for them.” The shepherdess, returned back again, walked over to her parents by calling them. They marveled, barely recognized her daughter and they followed her.
Arrived under the big oak tree, turned their eyes upward saw a beautiful lady with a baby in her arms and asked her who she was. And here she revealed: “I am Mary, the Mother of the Lord! Go to the parish priest of Fraine, show the child and tell him to build here, to my will, a church, where devotees can come to pray and honor my son. Parents together with little girl, walked to the village and told the priest what had happened, showing the daughter healed from the beautiful Lady revealed the Lord’s Mother (Mater Domini). And from this tale that under those same trees the forest guards in an atmosphere of peace and tranquility the Sanctuary of Santa Maria Mater Domini, of Benedictine foundation.
Bosco Vicenne boasts the presence of significant archaeological finds as alleged Roman stations. The presence of archaeological material attests perhaps that this area was inhabited since ancient times and could be that the curches are a continuation of a pagan cult that later took shape of Christian content.
On May 31st of each year, the day of the Feast, the forest sees converge each year on lawns, in front of the small church, the inhabitants of the municipalities of Fraine, Castiglione Messer Marino, Carunchio and Roccaspinalveti.
On August 17th of each year, it is celebrated in a historical period costume: “Fraine medieval”. A path both cultural and food and wine that grows along the streets and neighborhoods of this charming town of Abruzzo, thanks to the contribution of the entire community.
February Carnival in Fraine
30th and 31st of May Mater Domini Festival
15th of August Lamb Festival
Castiglione Messer Marino
DISTANCES FROM FRAINE:
39km from the beach of San Salvo Marina,
35km from ski slopes of Capracotta,
64km from Isernia,
50km from Vasto,
100km from Pescara airport.