Our Lady and the respectful dust ... and the one of the "modern means of social communication"
Saint Eusebius (+ 371) is credited with the founding of the shrine that houses this wonder working statue of Our Lady. It is said that while visiting Jerusalem, the saint was inspired to discover three statues of Our Lady. He brought these statues back with him to his native Italy, enshrining one of them in a hermitage chapel at Oropa.
Throughout the centuries a strange phenomenon has been observed. Although the ornate statues of Our Lady and the Holy Child - carved of cedar wood and elaborately dressed - are behind glass, dust somehow accumulates and rests on the figures, robes, crowns, etc. However, never has a particle of dust fallen upon the faces of either Mother or Child.
In addition to the phenomenon of the so-called “respectful dust” and miracles worked at the shrine, Oropa has still another important distinction. It was here that Guglielmo Marconi (1874-1937), “in the summer of 1895, while contemplating the Biellese Alps from the heights of Oropa, bethought that man might find a new energy in space, and the means to a new method of communication.” Marconi eventually invented the radio and sent his first radio message to the Vatican from Oropa, under Our Lady’s patronage.