The apparition of the Blessed Virgin of the Quercia, patroness of the Nure valley
In 1496 the Madonna appeared to a shepherd girl near an oak tree on the hill known as the Colle dei Frati near Bettola. News of the apparition led to the birth of a deeply felt popular cult and gave a great impulse to the development of the whole Nure valley.
According to what the Madonna asked the shepherd girl, the inhabitants of the place were to build a church on the site of the apparition and then a Franciscan convent.
The religious house was suppressed under Napoleon and the shrine and convent, used for a short while as a prison, then fell rapidly into ruin.
Only in 1954 was a new chapel constructed on the site of the apparition, close to what remains of the convent.
The oak tree and the statue of Mary are today objects of veneration conserved in the new Shrine of Our Lady of the Quercia (or Oak tree), built at the end of the 19th century in the main square of Bettola.
In 1962 John XXIII issued the pontifical letter "Amicum sidus" (a friendly star) declaring the Blessed Virgin of the Oak tree (Quercia) patroness of the Nure valley.