Search underway for a century-old painting used in CT Mass

STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) — A painting used in the annual celebration of Mass to honor La Madonna di Canneto, which translates to Our Lady of Canneto, has gone missing in Connecticut.

Descendants from the Italian village of Settefrati gather yearly to pay homage to their ancestral home, the Stamford Advocate reported. During the yearly gathering, the painting is displayed on a raised altar decorated with flower arrangements.

Antonia D’Amico, president of the Madonna Di Canneto Society in Stamford, said the painting went missing from the Sacred Heart Church and has asked the public to help find it.

“The painting just means so much to our community and we just want to know what happened. It’s been with us for a very long time, and it’s very meaningful to us. … It’s not about the money, it’s about what it means to us,” she said.

The painting has been the centerpiece for the celebration since 1931 when the Settefratese Social Club — the host of the Mass — was founded in Stamford.

The 6-foot (2-meter) painting depicts a young shepherdess kneeling in prayer side-by-side with an angel before the Lady Madonna.

During the yearly celebration, people typically kneel before the painting, which is in homage to a local legend in the greater Lazio region, and offer silent prayers.