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Cammarata -San Giovanni Gemini

Your next destination in Sicily in the Sicani mountains

A mountain of excellence

Santa Domenica church (a Badia)

The church of Santa Domenica was built in the mid-1400s. In a manuscript we read: "Ecclesiae Sancta Dominica in dicta terra in la cui est confratria."

In an episcopal visit in 1543 it is said of the high altar "Cum di lei cona tela in qua est spasmus".

The church was suppressed in 1886 and deprived of the monastery, transformed into a town hall, began to decay and was closed to the public but, in 1891, after the arrival of Don Salvatore La Corte, it began to flourish again thanks to the offerings of the people. The priest Nicolò Chimento continued his work, became rector in 1937, who with his work had it raised to a parish on 5/24/1964 and began to celebrate Mary Help of Christians on the 24th of each month. In the church there are statues of San Filippo di Agira, and of the Immaculate Conception (18th century). On the altar of the crucifix you can admire a silver tabernacle, an antependium in silver foil on red fabric and two paintings of the Adoration of the Magi. In the sacristy there is a gilded and coral-decorated monstrance, a seventeenth-century gift from the Branciforti, and a silver tabernacle for the exhibition on Holy Thursday. There are many 17th century paintings and stuccoes, executed under the Roman abbess for 300 ounces (1842). The numerous jealousies are still present, since the church was annexed to a cloistered Benedictine convent.

The monastery was built by the Branciforti in 1400, although in a manuscript of 1700 its construction is described by jure alemosine from 1534 onwards. In 1588, Francesco Lo Scrudato appears in an assignment deed, who had to periodically pay 4 ounces to keep the church lamp lit.

The monastery welcomed the daughters of the poor families of Cammarata and its surroundings, where weaving and embroidery works were carried out. Some clothes are still present in the sacristy.

In 1866 the church and the monastery were confiscated by the state, which sent some men to drive out the nuns even by force. Abbess Veniero, who did not want to leave the monastery together with the other sisters, declared that if there was a violent act in what was to be the municipal house, the first would be her, and in fact killed one of the men ready to drive them out. . Although the building had become of the state, the monastery remained until about 1874. Between the first half of the 18th century and the first half of the 19th century, the monastery fell into poverty and was forced to go into debt with the rich. In 1848 Count Lucchesi Palli deposited 400 ounces for the monastery at the Palermo bank: 200 were used to pay off debts and the other 200 to renovate the crumbling walls.

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