The Capuchins’ monastery was founded by the Minister General P. Girolamo from Polizzi and by the Provincial Minister P. Ludovico from Catania in 1587, as the notary Cataldo Caginula in Naples’ act of 1585 evidences. It was built following the will of Don Antonio De Aragon (Duke of Monte Alto and Count of Collesano) with the economic contribution of the people. The little church and the convent construction began after that the suitable site had been choosen, rejecting other two.
The monastery looks like a simple building of three levels that surrounds a cloister.
The church of St. Mary of the Angels is next to the convent. Now it is known only as the Capuchins.
Anciently the building was also called St. Mary of Hodegistria because it kept the altar of this Virgin, but it is also testified that in 1650 the church was dedicated to St. Leonard.
Built almost simultaneously with the convent, the church was enlarged in 1747 by the will of father Giuseppe Lettore from Petralia.
The church has a central nave and a side one marked by arches in the direction of the altar. The choir is over the entrance. The barrel vault is decorated with paintings with Christ’s stories.
The high altar contains a painting of the Madonna of the Angels with Sts. Francis, Catherine of Alexandria, Maddalena and Clare. It was painted in 1609 by Ettore Cruzer. The wooden tabernacle is richly ornate and it is conceived as a complex architectural baroque facade. It was made in 1706 by Pietro Bencivinni and his school.
- Virgin and Child sitting between clouds, who manifests itself to St. Francis and two Franciscan monks.
- The wooden sculpture depicting St. Mike archangel of the XVIII century that was probably made by Filippo Quattrocchi
- The altar of Child Mary with paintings and wax statue
- The Sinner drying Christ’s feet
- The papier mâché statue depicting St. Francis by Luigi Guachi of the XX century
- The painting of the Adoration of the Shepherds
- The altar of the Crucifix that was made by an anonymous sculptor from Palermo. It has on the right side the figure of the Ecce Homo and on the left side Christ at the Column that was made by the school of Ragona in the XVII century
- The painting of St. Francis receiving the stigmata
- The wooden altar unveiled in 1936 where the statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is located
For further information:
Parrocchia Maria SS. Assunta
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