Former Seminary.

The history of the imposing structure of the former Seminary with the annexed church of S. Spirito begins, albeit indirectly, following the provisions approved in the Council of Trent in 1545. Originally the site of the Poor Clares monastery, designed to house the young countryside women who chose the monastic life, it was later used as a monastery by the Benedictine nuns of Clausura.
The building was the last "gift" of our great fellow citizen Melchiorre Guerriero to the City of Campagna: consider that in his will, drawn up in 1525, he set aside a legacy of two thousand ducats, an enormous figure for the time, for the building of a new convent. At the beginning the Zappino district was chosen as the area in charge of the building - as dictated by the will of the Warrior - but given the building saturation of the place, the new bishop of the nascent diocese of Campagna, Msgr. Cherubino Caetani, in order to respect the wishes of the magnanimous Melchiorre, chose the Trinità district for the start of the works.
Great men of the past have contributed to the great work; one of these was certainly Msgr. Francesco Saverio Fontana. In 1721, the then confraternity of SS. Sacramento, having learned of the bishop's resolute will to establish a seminary also in Campagna, was the first to take action, contributing 917 ducats. This action evidently also moved the suppressed confraternity of San Giovanni together with the confraternities of the Madonna del Rosario, Madonna delle Neve, Madonna del Soccorso and Monte dei Morti still present today. The latter stood out in a particular way by paying out the incredible sum of 2194 ducats 1.
After a year, precisely on 21 December 1722, there was the bull of erection by the high prelate of Campagna in agreement with the Mayor and the elected representatives of the city and the chairs of Italian, Latin, Greek, Hebrew were immediately established as well as those of philosophical, mathematical and theological sciences. Despite the progress and the various personalities of absolute prominence called to take part in it such as the renowned Giovanni Rizzo, future rector of Seminary2, we soon had to deal with the first problems: in fact, the seat initially it was not the one we all know today in the neighborhood of the same name but it was placed near the Cathedral of Santa Maria della Pace under the cliff of the then Convent of the Maddalena.
This did not reflect the minimum standard canons of study rooms, often resulting damp and subject to mould, factors which made it inadequate for the needs of the seminarians. Not even the founding of the Seminary Body in 1723 proved decisive and, despite the profuse efforts of Bishop Fontana in finding suitable funds and premises, there was inevitably a general slowdown in its full implementation. In 1725, despite all the perplexities listed above, Fontana still decided to open the Seminary but this was not even enough.
The stubbornness of the high prelate could not cope with the obvious and disabling problems that did not allow a correct cycle of studies. For a regular performance of the planned activities it will be necessary to wait for the school year 1737/38. At this point in history (1750), another absolute protagonist made his debut, Msgr. Angelo Anzani who, once he succeeded Msgr. Fontana, was the first to glimpse what would prove to be a winning choice: dislocating the Seminary in part of the rooms of the cloistered Benedictine monastery, considered too large for the real needs of the nuns, located in the medieval Trinità district (now the Seminary district precisely).
Anzani, as mentioned, was decisive for its real development and expansion: he thought well of establishing a library which, thanks also to the pioneers of past centuries such as Fileta-Filiuli, De Nigris and Caramuel, will become second only to the one present in the abbey of SS. Trinity of Cava de' Tirreni.
The efforts made and the activities of the bishop immediately gave the desired results. In a report "ad limina" of 1762 sent to Rome, Anzani wrote and illustrated the progress achieved, praising, above all, the library. Archbishop Ferri succeeded Anzani and immediately collided with what we could define as the worst enemy of the building, human neglect, finding himself forced to rewrite Rome for reasons that were anything but positive: worried about the state of the building, but especially the books, denounced the usual reasons of humidity and mold that undermined their integrity.
A turning point came when Bishop Lupoli, on November 6, 1816 at his request, received a royal decree assigning the suppressed monastery of Santo Spirito to the diocese in order to host Seminary 3 there. In 1827, after promoting the entire arrangement of the building, at the end of the work he ordered the entire transfer of the Seminary from the old building to the monastery of Santo Spirito.
From that moment on numerous expansion and embellishment works were put in place, such as those commissioned by Msgr. Pellini of 1834, who wanted to have a staircase built in the center of the atrium inside the seminary, which will become famous for reasons that we will tell you below. Unfortunately, however, his periods of comfort were always punctuated by abrupt stops, such as when the law of confiscation of religious property was issued on May 19, 18554; because of this, the Seminary was closed for a long time, from 1857 to 1869, above all due to the missing revenues, which were also confiscated.
Another unfortunate step for the fate of the structure was when Garibaldi, in September 1860, landed in Southern Italy decreeing the suppression of religious assets, thus confiscating possessions that over the years had benefited also thanks to the Royal House of Bourbon. All this meant that the structure was changed in its use, becoming of military use in the fight against the Brigands. Example above all was the presence of bersaglieri inside it from the period from 1860 to 1863. All this postponing the care of the place, in addition to the events just mentioned, must be counted the umpteenth absence of a bishop inside it who could at least oppose to the "violences" that the structure had to suffer and, in addition, as if that were not enough, there was also the forfeiture of goods and income by the newborn state, thus determining the substantial suppression and the serious economic crisis which negatively marked those years and subsequent recovery. In 1869, after many efforts, the new bishop De Luca managed to win by ensuring that the Seminary reopened its doors for the year 1869/70 but, as mentioned, it was not easy to start again.
The Chapter appealed to Bishop Nappi on 19 September 1895 5, concerned about the shortage of pupils (only 6 units, the historical minimum) then present. The real recovery took place in 1915 after the Ministry of War and the soldiers destined for the Libyan war had occupied the building for a long time (despite the presence of a bishop inside): what we can easily define as the definitive restart took place, albeit among a thousand and more difficulties.
The building began to find some peace after centuries of troubled history when another great figure took office at the helm of our diocese, Msgr. Carmine Cesarano. The bishop, who arrived in Campagna on 30 September 1918, immediately understood the importance of the Seminary, and immediately took action to restore it definitively and expand its use, even organizing a pro-seminary lottery.
He worked tirelessly until, on October 25, 1922, the structure was officially inaugurated. Flourishing years were revealed from then on, such as when in 1927, celebrating the centenary of its foundation, it was also used as the seat of the Diocesan Synod.
Also in that year, the historic maximum number of seminarians present there was reached, i.e. 80 units, in addition to the fact that its spaces were also arranged, embellishing and furnishing them and further enhancing the library. The last great bishop hosted by the large structure was Msgr. Giuseppe Maria Palatucci.
The famous photo with his nephew Giovanni Palatucci, questore of Fiume, on the stairs of the atrium of the Seminary while they were busy planning salvation plans for the persecuted internees in the former Dominican convent of San Bartolomeo. Archbishop Palatucci also used the then woodshed of the structure, today the hypogeum of the former cloistered Benedictine monastery, as a hiding place against the German inspections of those years.

The church.

The history of the church of the Holy Spirit is actually intertwined with the demolition of the medieval church of the SS. Trinità, the latter of very ancient origins, built in 1095 thanks to the donation of the then viscount of Campagna Da Sicone. It represented one of the strong points and development of the ancient town of the late Middle Ages.
Campagna, at least until the 16th century, was structured with 3 farmhouses at the foot of the Gerione Castle and others that developed close to the manor itself. The church of the Trinity for centuries has been a reference point of the nascent "Casalnuovo" district but unfortunately for it it has always had to deal with the morphology of the place.
The current district of the Seminary has always shown a large presence of underground aquifers since its inception, which is why the structures, including the old church - which among other things also saw the baptism of Giulio Cesare Capaccio - always had to try to remedy the structural damage they caused.
Its end was dictated precisely by this factor, despite the various drainage and recovery works tried by the various bishops who administered the Campagnase diocese. One above all was Anzani who in 1750 tried in vain to try to save the structure with specific works to make the water flow better; unfortunately, once their uselessness was ascertained, two years later, on April 16, 1752, he ordered the demolition of the sacred and ancient temple. The works for the new church began three years later: the first stone was laid in 1755 but immediately there were slowdowns on the progress of the works linked to doubts about them, if not for the fact that at the beginning it had been conceived in place of the pre-existing one. For this reason and in order not to fall again into the age-old question of infiltrations, the works were suspended in 1760 to decide on the definitive location through a special commission. After trying to build it where the hospice of the Trinity 6 once stood, it was decided to annex it to the cloistered Benedictine monastery of Santo Spirito. On 6 June of the same year, Bishop Ferri who took over from Anzani (who had died two years earlier) consecrated the church, also completing the embellishments and decorations, also naming it after the Holy Spirit. From a planning point of view, the new church bore the signature of Bishop Anzani himself, while the aesthetics was entrusted to the already well-known artist Giuseppe Astarita.
The church still has a rustic facade in Baroque style, adorned with stuccoes and embellishments of exquisite workmanship, culminating in a column pilaster and with the presence of monumental altars. Of absolute importance inside are the relics of San Liberato martyr, placed under the high altar and the presence of the Madonna del Soccorso, protector of the confraternity of the same name which is based inside.

Text edited by Cristian Viglione.
Revisions: Francesco Pezzuti.

1. Valentino Izzo - Telling the Countryside...Religious factories. - VOL. M - p. 213 - year 2006
2. Valentino Izzo - Telling the countryside...Religious factories. - VOL. M - p. 212 - year 2006
3. Valentino Izzo - Telling the Country...Religious factories. - VOL. M - p. 214 - year 2006
4. Valentino Izzo - Telling the Country...Religious factories. - VOL. M - p. 215 - year 2006
5. Valentino Izzo - Telling the Country...Religious factories. - VOL. M - p. 216 - year 2006
6. Valentino Izzo - Telling the Country...Religious factories. - VOL. M - p. 216 - year 2006


Trailer of the eighth episode of the format "Pleasure, Campaign." concerning the structure and the church.

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