Bartholomew Longo
the sanctuary of Our Lady of  Pompei


A brief biography.


Bartholomew (Bartolo) Longo was born at Latiano in Brindisi, Italy, on 11 February, 1841 and studied law at the University of Napoli. He strayed from the faith for a short period and returned to it thanks to the efforts of a learned Dominican, Alberto Radente, O.P. (+1884).
The friar gave him a thorough instruction in theology and professed him into the Third Order of Saint Dominic giving him the name of
frater Rosario, brother Rosary.


The valley of Pompei.


In 1872 the lawyer Bartolo went to the valley of Pompei to take care of the affairs of Countess Marianna Farnararo De Fusco after the death of her husband. This valley was a desolate wasteland. The moral and spiritual abandonment of the poor peasants so touched his heart that he fell to his knees and vowed to Our Lady that he would sacrifice his life for their salvation.  With the cooperation of influential friends in Napoli, he undertook the evangelisation of the valley.


                             The picture of the Blessed Virgin.


With his wife's help, he inaugurated a confraternity of the Rosary
and he had need of a picture of the Blessed Virgin before which the Rosary could be recited every day.

He obtained one as a gift from a religious of the Monastery of the Rosary at Porta Medina, sister M. Concetta de Litala, who had been holding it for Alberto Radente, O.P. The latter had acquired it from a junk-shop dealer in Napoli for a very small sum, 3.40 lire.
The painting was of modest artistic merit and in very poor condition.


The famous Italian painter Frederico Madlarelli offered to restore the painting. It was finally restored by Vatican artists in 1965. On the left Saint Dominic, who accepts the rosary from the Child, and at right: Catherine of Siena, who receives the rosary from the Virgin.


The two rosaries in the painting each have six decades. This, too, was the custom of the time. Many times, this sixth decade was prayed for the intentions of those caring for the Church and the apostolic works of the Church.
A book is painted at the base of the throne. Our eye moves to this point, away from the pearls and gold, to the book containing the wisdom of God among us, the reality of the Virgin and the Word Made Flesh who dwells among us.


The building of the church.

Arriving at Napoli on 13 November, 1875, the picture was provisionally exposed in a small declining chapel on February 13, 1876.
But in that same month, Bartolo Longo received permission from the Bishop of Nola to build a new church with the cornerstone by Longo at 8 Mai 1876; today the great basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary of Pompei, consecrated by Cardinal Monaco la Valletta on 5 Mai 1887.
Miracles were reported and pilgrimages began to frequent the place.

Longo entrusted the architect Rispoli with the construction of the throne of the Virgin (1883). Four years later saw the celebration of a threefold feast of the inauguration, the crowning, and the enthroning of the picture of Our Lady of the Rosary, 1st May 1887.

Most notable of all is the "Supplication to the Queen of Victories" which, begun at Pompeii on October 1883, is recited all over the world on May 8, and on the first Sunday in October.".


Sanctuary of charity.   

In 1885 Bartholomew Longo and countess Marianna de Fusco were married and opened on 7 May 1887 an orphanage and invited the help
of the Dominican sisters of Marino, Rome, who sent three sisters. On August 4th 1897 the couple petitioned Cardinal Camillo Mazzella to found their own Congregation.

This was granted on 25 August, 1897.
It was the beginning of the Congregation Figlie del S.Rosario di
Pompei, with multiple works and institutions ; Orphanages, Sons of Prisoners, Daughters of Prisoners, Daughters of the Holy Rosary of Pompeii, and Dominican Tertiaries.

Bartholomew Longo wrote the book: Storia del Sanctuario di Pompei’.
Valle di Pompei 1890.

Longo died in Valle de Pompei, October 5, 1926.


On 21 October, 1979, Pope John Paul II visited Pompei.  The gathering was a national pilgrimage to Our Lady of Pompei. 

On 26 October, 1980, Bartolo Longo was beatified by John Paul II and called ‘the man of the Madonna’ and the ‘Apostle of the Rosary.’






Letteror bulletin Il Calendario del Santario di Poimpei per l'anno 1895. send from Valle di Pompei on 17.11.1894 to  an adress in Switzerland.


Italy 1891, Mi 60, Sc 67. Valid  till 30.06.1902.


Discovered by José and Régina Bogaert - Van Wayenberge.




Busta Lettera Postale, - post-card -, with
the Madonna di Pompei, S.
Dominic and
S. Catherine of Siena.

Italy 1920, 29 October. Post-card.







Many churches of Italy. Among others: the sanctuary of Madonna di
built by Bartholomew Longo from 08.05.1876 to 05.05.1887.

In the front, left, the statue of the Madonna at the top of the facade.


Italy 1950, Mi 793, Sc 535.






Pilgrimage of Pope John Paul II to the sanctuary of
Madonna di Pompei
on 21 October 1979. The church is
built by Bartholomew Longo from
08.05.1876 to 05.05.1887.

Italy 1979. Cover 21 October, 1979.








The postmark shows the statue of Bartholomew Longo,
one sister and two orphans by Tarcisio Musto, OFM.
and unveiled September 1997. 


                   Italy 1997. Postmark Pompei 26.04.1997.





Pilgrimage of Pope John Paul II to the Sanctuary
of the Madonna of Pompei. On the postmark the Virgin with Child and the front of the church and the bell tower.


Italy 2003. Postmark Pompei 07.10.2003.






80th Anniversary of the death of Bartolo Longo

(11.02.1841-05.10.1926). Postmark of Castellaneta (Taranto)

with Longo's portrait and the church of San Domenico with a
façade in both Renaissance and Baroque styles. The bell tower
looks like or is the bell tower of the basilica in Valle di Pompei.


Italy 2006. Postmark Castellaneta  05.10.2006.






June 10, 1973, Pentecost, opening of holy year in local
so in the basilica Madonna di Pompei, built by Bartholomew Longo from 08.05.1876 to 05.05.1887.

Vatican City 1973. KimCover Paul VI, nr 437.





 Painting of Madonna di Pompei with Child and Rosary
and S. Dominic and
 S. Catherine of Siena, in the basilica
of Our Lady of
the Rosary of Pompei, in Valle di Pompei,
On October 21,1979, John Paul II went on pilgrimage
the Madonna di Pompei.


Vatican City 1979. 21.10.1979. Memorial-cover.






Pope John Paul II visited the sanctuary of the Madonna di
Pompei on 21 October 1979.


Vatican City 1979. KimCover PW 89






Pope John Paul II beatified Bartolomew Longo (11.02.1845-05.10.1926), member of the Third
Order of  S. Dominic, at Rome on 26.10.1980.


Vatican City 1980. KimCover 26.10.1980. PW 135.





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