Monte dei Morti Church - Blessed Virgin of Carmel.

The history of the church of Monte dei Morti and the Beata Vergine del Carmelo begins in 1514 when, the ancient medieval church of Santa Maria della Giudeca in that year, thanks to the interest of the noble Campagnase Melchiorre Guerriero and of the feudal duke Ferdinando Orsini, was elevated to a collegiate church through the intercession of Pope Leo X, completely transformed, changed its name to Santa Maria della Pace and with the establishment of the diocese of Campagna in 1525, it was declared a cathedral.

Subsequently, in 1564 following the construction of a new cathedral, practically "sewn onto" the old church, the latter was further changed and transformed into the chapel of the Beata Vergine del Carmelo and Monte dei Morti and in its basement was obtained that which was the city cemetery at the time.
The temple has a single nave, its ornaments are based on what is the fulcrum of the spirituality of the place, or the afterlife, the cult of death with the taking charge of the deceased.

But the real leitmotif in our opinion is the "film of the soul" that can be seen by raising one's eyes, or rather the path that the soul takes at the moment of death, in fact already at the entrance you can see the skulls standing to make it clear that man, whoever he is, whatever position he holds is destined for death, Memento mori precisely, as one of the mottos of the brotherhood itself.
The journey begins by entering the church, where you can see in its vault, its first fresco depicting the Souls in Purgatory, the surprising thing is the presence of a bishop among sinners, especially if you think of the time of its creation, being a painting from the 18th century, in those years the ministry of papal infallibility was established and making it clear that a member of the clergy could sin could arouse dismay and heresies.
The journey of the soul continues thanks and above all to earthly prayers and the help of the Holy Spirit depicted in the dove that can be seen in the central part of the nave, where the journey to Paradise is completed, which is depicted straight above the altar in a simplified and joyful way, with bright colors and with a large Marian M dedicated to the Madonna who dominates the church, adorned with flowers and angelic hosts who intercede with the Holy Trinity depicted in the triangle with the all-seeing eye.

The church, although apparently small, "hides" real priceless treasures, numerous paths and numerous areas of interest, inside are kept the statue of the Madonna of the eighteenth century, of San Bernardino da Siena of 1606 by the Neapolitan artist Nunzio Maresca1 and that of San Rocco from the 17th century, the marble altar from the convent of the Capuchin friars of San Martino (18th century) and the wooden seats with the souls in purgatory placed in rows and lean against the walls.

Very present and well preserved are the ossuaries and catacombs which until the edict of Sant Cloud of 1804 served as the city cemetery.
The catacombs are structured in burial chambers, made up of mortar factory seats, which served as the burial method of the time.
At their base, on the seat, they have holes that transform them into the famous colanders for body fluids, which, through an ingenious hydraulic system, were expelled into the adjacent river. This technique bears witness to the engineering masterpiece of the time, in fact all the strainers were connected to a hydraulic channel which guaranteed, not only hygiene and cleanliness, but also the suction of the air which allowed a quick expulsion of the liquids. This phenomenon was dictated by the movement of running water that passed the canals, which greatly speeded up the drying of the deceased himself. Various experts who have visited the catacombs have stated that this system guaranteed a man of normal build deposition from the colander within a year after having carefully cleaned his bone remains with oils and ointments.

Another catacomb present is the one reserved for members of the brotherhood, located near the aforementioned one. Of particular interest is a bust in the sacristy depicting the Eternal Father. Placed in front of the entrance to the burial place of the confreres, it indicates particular attention to the pious transit of the same. In addition to the museum area of ​​the church located in the upper part, with an 18th century pipe organ, vestments and sacred texts, there is an archaeological area where, during restoration work, the perimeter walls and a 15th century fresco depicting S. Michele Arcangelo, belonging to the ancient church of Santa Maria della Giudeca.
The church is the seat of the Confraternita del Monte dei Morti, a brotherhood established in 1627


Trailer of the first episode of the format "Pleasure, Campaign." concerning the church and the brotherhood.

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