Lovere – Santuario
in honour of Saints BARTOLOMEA CAPITANIO and VINCENZA GEROSA
The santuario was designed by Ing. Mgr Spirito M. Chiapetta (1868-1948), President of the Pontifical Committee for Sacred Arts, and was consecrated by Mgr Giacinto Tredici, Bishop of Brescia, on 1st October 1938.
Mosaics, frescoes and sculpture work were carried out by the artists Arzuffi, Grondona, Marigliani, Manzoni, Pirovano and others belonging to the school of Taragni of Redono (BG) and of Istituto Pavoniano Artgianelli of Monza.
It is dedicated to Christ, King of Virgins, in honour of Saints Bartolomea Capitanio, foundress of the Institute of the Sisters of Charity, and Vincenza Gerosa, who built on the foundation, both canonized by Pius XII in 1950.
In all its aspects: of architecture, sculpture, pictorial art, the santuario exalts the value of consecrated virginity, sign of the mystery of the Church, Bride of Christ
Mosaics and symbols at the entrance refer to the Gospel Beatitudes and to the works of mercy, the new life given us by Jesus. They are the first “notes” of the message conveyed by the santuario.
The procession is closed on the central apse, by the two Saints of Lovere, who are crowned by Christ, King of Virgins, for the eternal feast of the wedding banquet.
The two miracles in the frescoes on both sides of the altar point to the Eucharist, source and strength of fidelity to Christ and of self-giving to our neighbour.
The stained windows of the ambulatory and of the galleries illustrate the patron saints of the religious provinces of the Institute, in which the apostolic drive typical of the origins has been transmitted and continues to bear fruit.
Consecrated virginity enables us to share, through the works of mercy, in Jesus the Redeemer’s passion for humankind. It is therefore a source of spiritual fruitfulness in the world.
Introducing the theme are representations of the parable of the ten virgins, shown in mosaic work on the four columns that hold up the cross vault.
It reminds us of the need to watch by tending the flame of faith and of hope.
The santuario, built in “gotico-lombardo” style, forms part of the Conventino, Mother-House of the Institute.
The internal dimensions form a square shape with nave and two aisles. It encloses the ancient chapel, which constitutes the atrium giving access to it from the Conventino. The theme of virginal chastity chosen for the Kingdom unifies the varied elements and expressive forms. Some details refer to Mary, Queen of Virgins.
On the walls on both sides are two long processions of virgins and martyrs who hold in hand the symbols of their steadfast love for Christ.
Saints Bartolomea and Vincenza who lived the life of perfect love of God, from which you drew that tender neighbourly love which made you angels of light and victims of charity:
we pray you, obtain for us, from the Heart of you mystical crucified Spouse, the clear knowledge of the Holy Gospel and the strength to practise its teachings in order to attain our salvation and perfection, by a generous dedication of ourselves to every good work and in every field of charity. Amen.