While in the Marche – and especially during your stay in the province of Pesaro and Urbino (land of Rossini and Raphael) – you may want to visit the convent of Beato Sante (‘Blessed Sante’), close to Mombaroccio and not far from Sant’Angelo in Lizzola, in the hinterland of Pesaro: a real ‘patch of Heaven’.
The convent, built on top of Scotaneto hill – deriving its name from ‘scotani’ (Rhus cotinus, aka Eurasian smoketree, smoke tree or smoke bush) – dates back to the year 1223. It was one of the first Franciscan seats in the Marche region, erected while Saint Francis was still alive. Later on it underwent major changes and the convent we see today dates mostly back to the 17th century, apart from a few still preserved original parts.
Giansante Brancorsini (the ‘Beato Sante’), born of a noble family in Montefabbri, close to Urbino, moved there in 1370 after killing a man in self-defense, in order to expiate his sins. He gained popularity thanks to his strong faith and to the many prodiges achieved while alive (among which the taming of a wolf; the miracle of an oak tree which, after receiving his blessing, started producing acrons with a little cross on them). Today it is a destination for pilgrimages and – to me – is a ‘patch from Heaven’ (both spiritually and phsycally, as I love to find my inner peace there, surrounded by centuries-old woods).
In the month of August (that’s the month my pictures refer to) many religious initiatives take place: the ‘Perdono d’Assisi’ (the Forgivness of Assisi) on Aug 2nd; ‘Children Blessing Day’ on the first Sunday, etc.
We took our Costanza to Beato Sante on ‘Children Blessing Day’ this Summer and I still love recollecting – with a mix of tenderness and astonishment – when our daughter, after receiving her blessing, turned to me and – with a serious look on her face – told me her secret: ‘I am a blessed girl because I come from Heaven, and landed in India’. My sister’s comment to her words, muttered straight-faced, was: ‘a very interesting religious syncretism’.
The church hosts important paintings such as the ‘Madonna adoring the child’ (Marche school from the 15th century), and a sumptuous painted cross dating also to the 15th century. On the right of the main altar, you find the chapel where the body of the ‘Blessed Sante’ is preserved. There is a little museum attached to the convent, and the convent library hosts about 5000 books, among which precious books from the 16th century.
As today it’s October 31st and we are officially entering the foggy November, I like to recollect our trip to Beato Sante today and post the pictures of that blissful Summer afternoon, as this could hold back, for a few more days at least, the Summer warmth which, inevitably, will surrender to Autumn colors and cold days.
Great pics. thanks for sharing. Sounds like you had a wonderful time there.
Thank you Barb.
Sometimes just looking at beautiful pictures can make of a cloudy Monday morning (alas! it’s Monday again…) a bright day.
Really had a good chuckle about the ‘I landed in India’ bit – beautiful post!!
Children, actually, have an extra gear (‘una marcia in più’) as we say in Italy!
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[…] to?). Our family’s favourite rites are attending the Harbor Feast in July, taking Costanza to Children Blessing Day at Beato Sante in Mombaroccio in the month of August, visiting the many stalls (and this year […]
[…] pilgrimages and, if you visit Montefabbri, you should pay a visit also to the beautiful convent of Beato Sante (about 25/30 minutes […]