The Story

A Sanctuary from The Guinness World Records


Since May 2000 our sanctuary has been enriched by a piece of artisanship right out of the Guinness World Records. It took 5 million matches, or pieces of matches, and five years of work and patience, from September 1995 to May 2000, to construct this scale model of the sanctuary of the Madonna of the Tears (Madonna delle Lacrime), and to acquire the world record, recognized and published in the "Guinness World Records." The builder of the model is Marcello Giusti, plumber and employee of the city waterworks of Florence, Italy.

The model of the sanctuary is two and a half meters wide and three and a half meters tall with the spire.

It is a triumph of matches: 50 thousand boxes of them were used, at a cost of approximately twenty million lire, furnished by a factory in Benevento.

Marcello Giusti did not limit himself to constructing only the exterior of the sanctuary, but reproduced the interior also which can be seen through the Windows: altars, candles, confessionals, pews, people and lighting from 700 mini-lightbulbs.

For the realization of this masterpiece of patience, we must also thank Mr. Quercioli, a businessman who believed in this challenging enterprise from the beginning and provided economic support to allow the work to be finished and set up in the crypt of the sanctuary, in the chapel of Saint Francis, where today it can be admired by pilgrims.

Text from "Madonna delle Lacrime" - Translated by John Gilbert