The folk festivity of Our Lady of Lourdes in the village of Radini nearby Brtonigla has been commemorating the appearance of the Virgin Mary for over eighty years. Our Lady of Lourdes allegedly appeared in 1922 to a local woman Marina Pirovich, who communicated to the pastor the wish to build a church in Mary’s honour. Although her story invoked religious fervour in the hearts of other inhabitants who supported the idea, the priest remained unconvinced until the pleas were finally granted by the next pastor Roberto Galetti.
The entire village participated in the construction. The wealthier families of Radini provided the land, stone was taken from the nearby quarry and the altar was designed by an unknown architect from the town of Pula who translated a vision of the cave in France in which little Beatrice saw Our Lady of Lourdes for the first time, to Radini. In 1929, the villagers organized a festivity in honour of the new church, attracting numerous pilgrims.
The first procession with the statue of the Virgin Mary paraded through the village accompanied with dancing and fair is thought to have occurred on that occasion. While festivities were once eagerly anticipated by children, because it was the only period they could get an ice-cream, nowadays Radini offer homemade cakes, Istrian dishes and premium wines of Northwestern Istria with loads of sports-entertainment activities.
Large numbers of amateur athletes are drawn by attractive bicycle ride for children and adults, volleyball tournament or almost forgotten “pljočkanje” – an old Istrian game played with flat stones.
We are never out of occasions for celebration – with the blessing of Our Lady of Lourdes, the people form Radini always manage to re-awaken their spirit, realizing that together they can do “miracl