The veneration of the Madonna “Madre dei Bimbi” in Cigoli, which is located in the sanctuary of the same name in San Miniato, originated following fortuitous circumstances on July 21, 1451.
According to tradition and old official Church documents, the Madonna di Cigoli brought a child back to life; the son of a woman belonging to the Mainardi family, who lived at Treggiaia Castle. The woman, who had already lost two children, had decided to drown herself in the nearby Roglio river on the loss of her third child, a newborn.
As she ran towards the river, she encountered a young woman, who comforted and dissuaded her from killing herself, leading her home, while reassuring her that her son was still alive. As soon as the unknown woman touched the baby, he came back to life and started to move again. The pious woman said she lived in Cigoli and then she vanished, surrounded by rays of light.
A few days later, the mother went to Cigoli Castle, but she couldn’t find anyone who resembled the woman she’d met. The person in charge of the Humiliati, who had learnt about what happened, understood what had happened and showed the icon of Mary to the woman. She recognized her immediately and started to cry out of recognition.
Sources: Francesco Maria Galli-Angelini, Cigoli e il suo santuario, Pontedera, 1989 and madrebimbicigoli.it