Church of Blessed Rita

On the left, through a narrow gate, is the entrance to the church of Blessed Rita; it is not always open because it is used for prayer by the cloistered nuns. It is so named because it was the church in which the body of the Saint was venerated from 1577 until 1947.

It was severely damaged by the earthquake of 1703, and the body of Saint Rita was kept for four years in a wooden shed in the garden of the monastery. It was demolished to make way for the new sanctuary. The portal and some altars of this church of Blessed Rita remain. The portal visible on the outside bears the inscription: Through pious devotion to the Blessed Rita of the Order of Augustinian Hermits, erected AD 1577.

The interior, which was renovated in 1994, is not always open. At the back, the decorative marble, which frames the grille where the body of Saint Rita lay, was realised in 1629 at the expense of Cardinal Fausto Poli. The canvas of Saint Rita receiving the stigmata is by Tito Troia (1889).

On the right, there is Our Lady of Sorrows with the dead Christ in her arms, a canvas by Salvi Castellucci of Arezzo (1625). On the altar to the left is the canvas by Virgilio Nucci (around 1610): the crucifix is made of wood and the other characters are painted. These are: Mary Magdalene, the Virgin Mary and John the Evangelist on the one hand and Rita, Catherine of Alexandria in Egypt and Augustine on the other. The beautiful canvas of the Resurrection of Christ, placed high above the tabernacle, is by painter Benedetto Nucci and is dated 1588.

The stained glass window under the altar, like the one at the side of the tabernacle with the Ascension and the descent of the Holy Spirit, are by Armando Marrocco (1994).

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