Church and Convent of the Cappuccini

Bronte's photo

You are in: Home–› Monuments–› The churches–› Convent of the Cappuccini

Church and Convent of the Cappuccini

The convent

The convent of the Capuchin fathers of Bronte was the 34th convent of the order. Before, however, the friars lived in the convent of the PP. Riformati Conventuali of S. Francesco (today it remains only the name "Conventazzo").

They remained there only for three years because of the cold and dampness, and because the convent was starting to crumble away, having been built on clayey ground.

The building of the new convent was begun in 1629 in the old suburban quarter of San Silvestro. To complete the building not quite finished, in September of 1635 the old convent was sold and new funds were raised to bring the work to completion.

In an unspecified epoch on the North-West side two big buttresses were built in masonry to garrison the building, visible from the Corso Umberto open to traffic entry.

As it results from Bronte's documents of 1714-17, the convent in 1714 was lodging sixteen friars, in 1748 twenty-six, of which fifteen from Bronte.

The building is shaped as a large "U". The entry from the Piazza Cappuccini leads to the small internal cloister with colonnade on two sides.

In the center there is a basin of water, not used any longer and to the corners four very high palms. From the arcade can be accessed the Capuchin church, the large room with a stage (little theatre) and the service premises of the convent. From a small corridor can be gained access to the wide and beautiful room of the refectory.

Above, inside small lunettes, there are frescos (1950) representing some saints' life. Above the entry lunette a Last Dinner. On the first floor long corridors disengage the rooms (the monks' cells) that look on the internal cloister. From this floor can be accessed the cantors zone of the church.

The church


The church ("Sancto Felici Dicatum"), built together with the convent by the Capuchin fathers, one introduces to a beautiful perspective position on the homonymous square.

The prospect, simple and of late Renascence inspiration, is composed by two superimposed orders of pilasters with capitals: the first set up on a low plinth, the second on a molded big frame.
A triangular tympanum with decorations to relief closes in high the building. In the shared out plant, to the first plan, opens a window framed and surmounted by a triangular tympanum.

The entry of the church is set up on a little flight of steps in lava stone.

The original entry, with a railing and a re-entry on the prospect, had been modified towards the middle of the XX° century and replaced with a rectangular one of reduced dimensions.

Inside the church

has a single nave, a side chapel and seven altars with decorations in bas-relief.

The succession of the pilasters pronounces the rhythm of the full funds and the empty spaces in which the minor altars are inserted.

On top the flat frame, on a continuous series of sails and vaults, is set up the white barrel vault.

Beyond the flat frame, on a continuous series of sails and times, it is set up the white time to barrel.

The church contains worthy of note works: a picture where stand out two figures of friars (San Felice from Cantalice and the blessed Crispino from Viterbo) a picture of the XVIII century with the Virgin with the saints Fedele and Giuseppe, the big picture of the major altar with a group of saints (S. Felice, Sant'Agatha, Santa Chiara, S. (Francesco) and, below, the Etna smoking and a delicious drawing of the small town Bronte saved for intercession of SanFelice.

To see also the polychrome inlays of the major altar, works of a friar, executed in the traditional style of the holy vessels of the Capuchin fathers.

The little bell of the Capuchin church comes from the ancient convent suppressed "Con­ventazzo".

Inside the church
padre Gesualdo De Luca

The statue of the
Dead Christ
and the polychrome inlays of the major altar

The statue of the Dead Christ

The polychrome inlay work of the Major altar is by brother Felix from Bronte

The urn with the statue of the Dead Christ which takes part to the traditional proces­sion of the Venerdì Santo (holy Friday) is preserved in the little side chapel of the church. In the convent there is an ancient library, with manuscripts and rare and valuable books, that shows the high cultural level reached in Bronte by the Capuchin brothers and the important contribute given by them to the education and formation of the Bronte’s young people.

Particularly in the convent are preserved manuscripts by father Gesualdo De Luca, general guardian, Capuchin Prior and author of several, learned theological, canonical and historic works.

La church and the convent of the Capuchin fathers as it is now and as it was at start of the XX° century, before the changes to the original entry, with a railing and a re-entry on the prospect, and of the arrangement of the square at the front and the flight of steps. As anybody can see, the per­spe­ctive vision has remained, more o less the same.

Father Pio of Pietrelcina

The statue of Father Pio di Pietrelcina, placed in the Square before the Capuchin’s Church was inaugurated in September 2002; the monument was erected with contributions by all Bronte’s believers.




Translated by Sam Di Bella


HOME PAGEPowered by DLC-Associazione Bronte Insieme Onlus / Reproduction not permitted even if partial - Last adjournment: 07-2023