Miracle of the Split Mountain

“Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour.  And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, `Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani,’ that is `My God, my God why hast Thou forsaken me?’  And some of the bystanders hearing it said, `This man is calling Elijah.’  And one of  them at once ran and took a sponge, filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave it to Him to drink.  But the others said, `Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save Him.’  And Jesus cried again with a loud voice and yielded up His Spirit.

“And behold the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom; and the earth shook, and the rocks were split…”Mt 27:45-51

The curtain of the temple was torn in two; the earth shook and the rocks split!

It was always said that the Angels, who had to stand by, helplessly, because they were obedient to the Father’s Will, when their Lord and King suffered cruel punishment and died on the Cross, bellowed out such an agonizing shout, it reached to the ends of the earth; the curtain of the temple tore and the earth trembled and the mountains shook.

There were reports of earthquakes and mountains splitting all over the world.

One happened in the charming historical coastal town of Gaeta, (Italy). Set on a promontory stretching towards the Gulf of Gaeta, it is 120 km from Rome and 80 km from Naples. A chapel was built in one of these fissures of the mountain. This mountain, split into two parts, is a very impressive sight bringing pilgrims flocking by their thousands to venerate our Lord here. “Montagna Spaccata” (Split Mountain) is widely believed to have split the moment Jesus died on the Cross on Calvary, thousands of miles off in the Holy Land.

According to the legend, at the time when the Saracens were overrunning Europe, a Turkish pirate, who did not believe that the rock had split at the death of Jesus, touched the rock and said, “If this is true, then let this rock become liquid.” As he spoke, the rock liquified and gave way to the imprint of his hand. You can put your fingers into the hand print today!

Split Mountain was instrumental in the vocation of St. Philip Neri when he came to take refuge here before he went to Rome. Contemplating the crevices of the mountain plunging into the Mediterranean Sea, his gaze was drawn towards the infinite, filling him with mystery and immersing him in God.

“This is a world marvel, horridly beautiful, which makes enraptured and thoughtful the visitors flocking here in any season from Italian towns and abroad, attracted by the mysterious, superhuman power that produced such a wonder… it is finally the phenomenon that always leaves perplexed and doubtful the most eminent geologists in the world, among whom one of the most learned stated: “natural, physical, geological laws are upset; the splits of the rock are not the product of an ordinary earthquake, which might have separated its numerous layers breaking their ties in the weakest points…The rock is divided in a diagonal way, and it is not opened in its weakest points but in the strongest and thickest”.” (N. Aletta).

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18 Responses to Miracle of the Split Mountain

  1. mmvc says:

    Kathleen, what an amazing post! I’d never heard of this before and am grateful for this Lenten ‘food for thought’.


  2. toadspittle says:

    “There were reports of earthquakes and mountains splitting all over the world.”

    Let’s just hope not too many thousands of God’s children were killed!



  3. corjesujse says:


    Thank you for posting this. I visited the Montagna Spaccata years ago, when I was a young teenager. I walked through the very narrow area between the split mountain and placed my hand in the imprint on the mountain’s surface. If I can describe it this way, it looked as if the hand were pressed deeply into a marshmallow or one of those memory foam pillows. That mountain was a solid piece of shiny, smooth stone, not at all gravely or rough. The experience made a very strong impression (pun intended) on me. Often, in my adult life, I’d ask my mother about that visit to Gaeta. I consider visiting the Montagna Spaccata one of the most memorable experiences of my life.

    Once again, thank you so much for letting the world know about this little-known wonder!

    In JMJ,


  4. Pingback: Miracle of the Split Mountain « Deacon John's Space

  5. kathleen says:


    And thank you very much too for telling us about your visit to Gaeta. It’s fascinating to hear your vivid description of the imprint of the disbelieving Turk’s handprint in the mountainside.


  6. Karen R Bowerman says:

    Does anyone have a picture of the handprint? Is this posted anywhere? I would love to see it.


  7. kathleen says:

    Hi Karen,

    I found some pictures of people putting their hand into the print on the rock…… but then of course you can’t see the handprint! This is the only one I could find of the uncovered handprint. (Click into the fourth pic on the right, where it says “Traveler photos and videos”.)


  8. Karen R Bowerman says:

    Thank you so much for finding this picture for me! I’m in awe! So profound with all His awesome proof of the split rocks (mountains) and touchable on top of it! What a God we have! I just have to feel or guess at the tremendous physical force on earth when this happened………not to mention the unphysical forces that alowed this turkish man not to be hurt when the mountain liquified! Thanks again Kathleen.


  9. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    This is like the Portico de Gloria in Santiago de Compostela! You can put your hand right in there!

    It’s also like those American evangelists who urge you to put your hand on the TV screen. Isn’t it? And that Turkish man was probably a Moslem, so he was the lucky one.




  10. Pete says:

    LoneWlf : I had the pleasure of being stationed at Gaeta , Italy on board the 6th Fleet Flag Ship for a couple of tours there. I visited the Split Mountain it is as beautiful as described by others. The entire area around Gaeta has many interesting stories and events that happened in the area during WW II . There are many caves and bunkers that were left behind.
    A place to visit when in Italy.


  11. kathleen says:

    Yes Pete, it is indeed a beautiful and fascinating place. Thanks for your testimony.


  12. I was stationed on the USS Belknap from 86 to 89, and Gaeta was our home port. I remember vividly my visit to the Split Mountain. The hand print was huge. My hand looked like a child’s hand next to that hand print. The grotto (where the pirates hid their ship) was amazingly beautiful. And the church in the center was so serene…and to this day I wonder about the engineering of that church to make it so solid in the center of the split like that. I hope someday to visit Gaeta again and see Split Mountain, the big church in the old city, the castle (I wish I could have toured the inside of that) and so much more…I have so many fond memories from Gaeta and the Split Mountain was only one of them.


  13. Edgar F. Vinson says:

    I was stationed in Naples Italy in 1956 & 57 at the Naval Air Base of VR-24 Det. I was at the split mountain and toured the church and the split in 1957. It was amazing then and I am sure it still is. During my tour in Naples I was fortunate to visit many of the historic places in Italy. I still hope to return one day and view the changes that have been made.

    Edgar F. Vinson
    Conroe, TX


  14. martha scalley says:

    How come we dont hear about this and other miraculous happenings often? We should. Itwould bolster many people’s flagging faith.


  15. Nicole Moody says:

    I don’t know what this means but I dreamt about this today. Never even heard of or seen it. So I Googled and this is what I found. What does this mean?


  16. Valli Leone says:

    Praise the name of Jesus! He’s my Rock, my Fortress and my Deliverer. And because of this wonderful article, I am considering making a trip to Split Mountain when I am in Italy next March. What a wonder! What a joy! Alleluia!


  17. Jean says:

    I was fortunate to see this wonder also and it is a humbling experience. The quiet and depth in which you go to the chapel can not be replicated. You at times think it may close back up. Like something that happened but really should not have. I encourage anyone who has the opportunity to go to Italy to visit this site.


  18. Jerald Delgado says:

    ACTS 13,11 “And now,behold,the hand of the Lord is upon thee,” This scripture depicting the Apostle Paul,certainly shows he was one of my Lord Jesus’s Hidden Treasures.If you have a valued possession(or secret)you don’t leave it out,you lock it up,or hid it.The true Hand of Montagna Spaccata is not the Hand of the Turk(the hand of an unbeliever)NO,it’s the Hand of a Saint(ST.PAUL) HIDDEN on a Mountain Wall under the Statue of Religion.I know,for i have seen and touched it…..IN JESUS NAME ! ALLELUIA !!,


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