The origins of the "Unsere liebe Frau" Sanctuary in Mörre/Mora just outside St. Leonhard/S. Leonardo can be traced back to a curious occurrence. Legend has it that village doctor and farmer, Matthias Pichler, purchased a votive image of the Virgin Mary from a street trader. Sometime later, in 1750 he decided to build a chapel on his property. Since word of Pichler’s ability to cure diseases and heal wounds was widely known, many came to him for help and also to see the image of the Virgin Mary. The growing number of needy visitors prompted Matthias Pichler to enlarge his chapel in 1752 and again in 1764. But as the miracles diminished in frequency, so did the number of pilgrims. This happened just at the time when Emperor Joseph II had decreed a program of enforced secularization and the chapel fell into disuse and eventually ruin.
In the mid-nineteenth century, a number of well-intentioned benefactors decided to renovate and further enlarge the church into the valued place of worship that it is today. An image of the Madonna was placed at the center of the new Baroque altar, inspired by a work of painter Giovanni Battista Salvi (known as "Sassoferrato"). Matthias Pichler was the first country doctor in the Passeiertal Valley to have been mentioned officially in the town records and his descendants followed in his footsteps. The country doctor could cure a variety of ailments afflicting both humans and animals and various treatments were administered, such as to stop haemorrhages. Many patients flocked to the doctor partly because of the scarcity of doctors and partly because the bad state of repair of the roads leading elsewhere. The first public pharmacy only opened in 1983 in the village of San Leonardo, serving the entire valley.
The two statues created by the sculptor Anton Ferner represent Saint Leonard and the canonised medical practitioner, Damian (1764).
The votive images are also noteworthy in themselves. Impressive and rich in detail, they express the gratitude of the population. Most of the votive paintings date back to the nineteenth century, one of which is the work of Josef Haller (1737-73). Among the best known of the late Baroque painters of Tyrol, together with sculptor Anton Ferner, Haller is one of the greatest exponents of the Passeiertal Valley School of Arts (his original work from 1768 is displayed at the MuseumPasseier museum).
So the ascent to Mörre from St. Martin is certainly worthwhile, to pray or meditate at the pilgrimage shrine, as well as to admire the works of local artists. Not least, there is the spectacular view of the valley below to enjoy.