Located only 47 kilometers east of Rome, the city of Genazzano is privileged to have two miraculous images. The one that has garnered the most attention is a fresco portrait of the Blessed Virgin that somehow detached itself from the wall of a church in Scutari, Albania, when the city was invaded by the Turks and was miraculously transported to Genazzano on April 25, 1467. Known as Our Lady of Good Counsel, the image appeared under unusual circumstances before a huge crowd that had assembled for a festival.
The second miraculous image is also a fresco and portrays Jesus on the Cross with the Blessed Mother on one side and St. John the Evangelist on the other. The city of Genazzano is seen in the background. Described as being a Roman work of the 15th century, this portrait of Our Lord is also found in the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Good Counsel and has a remarkable history. During the papacy of Pope Martin V of Genazzano, the pontiff exempted his native city and the city of Cave from taxes. Later, when Paul III was raised to the papacy, he ignored the earlier exemptions and not only reinstated the taxes but also increased them. When Perugia rebelled against the Pope, Prince Ascanio Colonna and the soldiers of Genazzano joined the revolt. In retaliation, Genazzano was invaded by papal troops under Count Nicolo Orsini on March 25, 1541.
During the occupation, an extraordinary event took place. It was the year 1557. The Augustinian papal sacristan, Bishop Angelo Rocca, who was also the founder of the famous Library Angelica in Rome, wrote at the time, In Genazzano, situated in the territory of Rome, at the time of Paul III the territory was at war. A soldier, playing cards in the public square, lost all his money. He blasphemed God and His Mother and entered raging into the church dedicated to the Blessed Virgin and officiated by the friars of St. Augustine. With his sword he inflicted several wounds upon the forehead, the stomach and the legs of the Crucified who was there above the altar, not without the shedding of blood. The soldier who had profaned and struck the sacred image was at once killed by the other soldiers and his body cut to pieces. But the sword of the blasphemer and profaner was marvelously twisted in such a way that a sword-maker would have had great difficulty to imitate it in a long period of labour. As a souvenir of this impiety and of such a wonder, the sword is kept near the sacred image to the present day. According to the writings of Padre Angelo de Osigo, we are told that in the year 1640, master craftsman Andrea Barbarano succeeded in straightening the sword by using fire and pounding it numerous times with a heavy hammer. But immediately the sword returned to its twisted form. The sword, still in this condition, is presently kept in a niche to the right of the sacred image. The Crucified still bears the marks inflicted by the solder. These take the form of slashes and puncture marks.