Madonna of the Rifle

Madonna dello Schioppo, Basilica San Marco, Venice
A church is not exactly the place where one would expect to see a rifle and yet that is what we find in the Basilica San Marco

The rifle, which is an ex-voto (a votive offering), was presented to the basilica on May 10th, 1849, by some Venetian sailors who had survived the explosion of an Austrian bomb at Marghera. Since the donation, the thirteenth century relief of the Madonna and Child has been known as the Madonna dello Schioppo (Madonna of the Rifle). 

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