The devotion to the Madonna of Guadalupe, to whom the inhabitants of Santo Stefano have erected a statue on the nearby Mount Maggiorasca, has had a great historical and religious relevance for centuries. In 1531 the Virgin appeared at Guadalupe, a small town near the City of Mexico to a religious native, and successive appearances gave the story credibility.
The devotion of the Madonna quickly spread, not only in Mexico and South America, but also in Spain and subsequently in Italy. In 1802, an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe was exhibited in the church of S. Pietro, Piacenza by some Jesuit priests. An inhabitant of Santo Stefano, Antonio Domenico Rossi, who was in Piacenza at the time, brought a sacred image of the Virgin back to Val d'Aveto.The devotion spread to the d'Aveto population and became celebrated among the faithful. In 1811, Cardinal Giuseppe Doria donated the beautiful picture (go here >) (that is still venerated today) to his church and parish of Santo Stefano. The painting depicts the Virgin with dark hair with her face leaning towards her right shoulder, standing with her hands joined in prayer. The King of Spain had donated the icon to Andrea Doria. Before becoming property of the Doria Palace in Genoa, it was said to have been carried aboard a galley during the battle of Lepanto.
Link (here) to the original PDF located on the upper left hand quarter of page 31