In 1954 the Marian year announced by Pope Pius XII was celebrated in the universal Church on the anniversary of the first centenary of the proclamation of the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception by di Maria on 8 December 1854 by the will of Pius IX.
To commemorate the event, they wanted to reproduce that famous grotto of Massabielle in Lourdes where the mother of God appeared 18 times in 1858 to the young Bernadetta Soubirons presenting herself as the Immaculate Conception.
Interpreting the soul of the people, the Archpriest of the time Don Vincenzo Esposito, who was parish priest of Tortorella from 1953 to 1957, wanted to leave this memory: to reproduce the cave of Massabielle in Lourdes.
The place was ready. Over the millennia, nature itself had carved a cave in the rock at the entrance to the town, at the confluence of the two ancient access roads to the town, the Via Selice.
Source THE MESSAGE OF OUR FATHERS – Sac. FRANCESCO ALESSIO