Is a sacred cave and popular Catholic shrine near San Giovanni Rotondo. Here the Archangel Michael is said to have appeared in 490, 492 and 1656 and consecrated the shrine himself.
St. Michael the Archangel first appeared at Monte Sant'Angelo in 490. According to tradition, it all started when a local nobleman lost the best bull of his herd. After much searching, he found it kneeling in a cave. Unable to approach it, he shot the bull with an arrow, but the arrow turned around and struck the man instead.
Bewildered and bleeding, the man went to see his bishop, who ordered three days of prayer and fasting. At the end of the three days, St. Michael the Archangel appeared to the bishop and said:
"I am Michael the Archangel and am always in the presence of God. I chose the cave that is sacred to me. There will be no more shedding of bull's blood. Where the rocks open widely, the sins of men may be pardoned. What is asked here in prayer will be granted. Therefore, go up to the mountain cave and dedicate it to the Christian God!"
St. Michael made two more appearances here and the last one in 1656 during a great plague. The local bishop invoked St. Michael for protection, and the archangel appeared to him. The plague then ceased, and the mountain shrine became more popular than ever.
The sanctuary has been a popular place of pilgrimage for many centuries: St. Francis of Assisi, St. Bernard of Clairvaux, St. Bridget of Sweden, St. Gerard Majella, St. William of Vercelli and six popes have made the pilgrimage here to ask for St. Michael's protection.
Monte Sant'Angelo is located in the hills on the Gargano promontory, on the east coast of south-central Italy, the "spur" of the boot. It is just half an hour drive from San Giovanni Rotondo, the second most visited Catholic shrine in the world.