The Marian Shrine has been a pilgrimage destination for many centuries. Amongst the religious customs of Sappada, the main one is the pilgrimage on foot up to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Sorrows in the village of Maria Luggau in Austria that the people of Sappada perform each year. The pilgrimage began in 1804 as a vow to beg the help of the Virgin against the plague that had struck the town’s cattle. Groups from Sauris, Forni di Sopra and Ampezzo have joined the inhabitants of Sappada in recent years and the pilgrimage now involves more than 400 people. This event offers the opportunity for a great hike along a path, which, after about 9 hours of walking, leads to Austria. The pilgrimage takes place on the third weekend of September.
The procession starts at dawn on Saturday (3:30) from Cima Sappada, reaching the Piave Springs and the Calvi Refuge. From here it proceeds to the Austrian Hut and then to the Shrine, arriving at about 13:30. Mass at the Shrine takes place on Sunday morning at 8:00 am with a departure soon after for Sappada.