Churches and Religious buldings

 

  

 

St. Benedict's Church (Chiesa di San Benedetto)

 

Founded in 1614 by the prince Don Francesco Branciforte and his wife Lady Giovanna of Austria, the Church was finished in 1649. In 1693 the church was to restore and in 1725 the architect Antonio Scirè  restored it. The structure shows a Latin cross plan with an only nave and chapels on the sides. The inside still now keeps all of original furnishings which has great value. At first right altar it is possible to admire a canvas made by an unknown artist and represents "Santa Rosalia che libera dalla peste Palermo" (St. Rosalie who rescues Palermo from plague) datable to the XVIII century. The second chapel on the right is adorned with a painting which repreduces the "Misteri della vita di Gesù e della Vergine" (Mysteries of Christ and Virgin's life) and shows an altar of gilded wood dated back to the early XVIII century, which includes a little painting representing Gesù Bambino (Christ Child). Adjacent to the chapel there are gravestones of the founder, of his three sons and his brother. In direction of the third right altar it is possible to admire a canvas representing San Gertrude made by an unknown artist in the XVIII century. On the sides of the transept there are two marble altars of the early of XVIII century; on its right side there is a wooden coloured statue which represents the "Madonna del Rosario" (Our Lady of Rosary) which is dated back to the XVII century. The presbytery was rebuilt in 1725 and shows behind high-altar, made of marble in the XVII century, a precious wooden choir of 1735. Set on it there are some works which are very suggestive "Scene della vita di San Benedetto" (Scenes from St. Benedict's life), "I Misteri dolorosi e gloriosi" (Painful and Glorious Misteries) and the "Quattro Evangelisti" (Four Evangelists). Near the  chancel of carved  walnut there is a loaded window of mystery that contains the coffin of  St. Benedict. Finally, at the second left altar it is possible to admire "L'Ultima comunione di San Benedetto" (The last Communion of St. Benedict) made by Sebastiano Conca (1680-1764); at first left altar "Il martirio di San Sebastiano" (St. Sebastian's martyrdom) made by unknown artist and datable to 1700.

The Benedictine Monastery now used as Town Hall. It has a highly decorative façade. Next to it is a church whose façade is ornamented with rusticated window surrounds, what is a common feature of Militello’s Baroque.

 

    

 

St. Nicolò - St. Savior’s church (Chiesa di San Nicolò - SS. Salvatore )

 

Was rebuilt, in 1721, much more  northwards and was completed in 1904 with the elevation of the cupola, after ten years the bell tower was built  after the project of Francesco Battaglia. There are numerous  works that constitute the property of the church, like the frescos of the vault and the apse painted by  Giuseppe Barone and the wooden statue of  S.  S.  Savior.  Attached to the church there is the "Museum  St.  Nicolò" inaugurated in 1985 that contains a fine collection of 1600’s and 1700’s religious vestments, prized treasures from the town’s various other churches – notably a silver plate from Santa Maria alla Catena, as well as the jewellery, votive and liturgical objects of Sant’Agata. The last rooms are devoted to pictures. Among these are an altarpiece Annunciation by Francesco Franzetto (1555), the Attack on San Carlo Borromeo by the Tuscan Filippo Paladini (1612), and a gentle treatment of the Immacolata by Vaccaro.

 

The church of our Lady of the Chain (Chiesa della Madonna della Catena)

 

Is a construction of sixteenth-century that survived  the 1693 earthquake. Inside we have a Baroque style and on the walls are sculpted twelve Virgins and stories of Mary. The fine interior is encrusted with lovely "stucco" works by artists from Acireale. In the upper tier are scenes from the Joyful Mysteries, while the lower harbours various Sicilian saints surrounded by cherubs, festoons and cornucopias. The overall effect is completed by an elegant coffered wooden ceiling dated 1661.This church has got an organ of the seventeenth-century, that is still in good conditions. 

 

The church of the S.  S.  Sacrament to the Circle (Chiesa del S. S. Sacramento al Circolo)

 

Built in 1724. It has a fine concave façade and inside a great altar, unfortunately, in demolition. The church, today, is closed to the religion and used for shows and lectures. 

 

    

 

The church of St.  Mary of the Star (Chiesa di S. Maria della Stella)

 

Built between 1722 and 1741. was rebuilt in 1722 and completed in 1741. There are lots of  works preserved in the Temple, first of all the Nativity attributed to Andrea della Robbia and other eighteenth-century works: sculptures, statues and sepulchres representing Saints. Attached to the church there is the treasury of St. Mary of the Star, containing a fine late-1400’s altarpiece with scenes from the life of St. Peter, by the Maestro della Croce of Piazza Armerina, the Portrait of Pietro Speciale, a shallow relief by Francesco Laurana and vestments and furniture of great value. 

 

The church of St.  Mary of the Star, the Hold (Chiesa di S. Maria La Vetere)

 

Called in this way to distinguish it from the new one rebuilt more upstream, is mentioned in a document by the King Roger the Norman, going back to 1115 and recent researches have confirmed that it is a very ancient construction. This church has a magnificent portal in gothic style; in 1506 was completed and chosen like parsonage of the Lords of Militello. In the portal figures of Saints and Angels are represented;  inside the church that the terrible 1693 earthquake reduced to only one nave. Above the front entrance with its 16th century porch, sits a lunette enclosing shallow reliefs.

 

The church of St.  Mary of the Thanks (Chiesa di S. Maria delle Grazie)

 

Based in 1504 and situated in the road Militello-Scordia. The sacristy is the more ancient construction of the church, this was built for will of Costanza Barresi, daughter of Blasco II. 

 

The church of St. Sebastian (Chiesa di San Sebastiano)

 

Built in 1604, contains a lot of statues and some relics. The façade very elegant was rebuilt in 1702. 

 

The church of  St. Antony from Padua (Chiesa di San Antonio da Padova)

Contains six altars and some attractive statues to admire. In 1856 the plan of the church was shortened introducing a new apse before the cupola. 

 

The church of St. Francis of Paola (Chiesa di San Francesco di Paola)

 

Is situated on the homonymous road and look on the valley of the Vanella; it is a construction of sixteenth century that was rebuilt in 1600 and survived to the earthquake of 1693. Inside there are to admire statues, pictures and frescos.

 

The church of the Calvario (Chiesa del Calvario )

 

Was ribuilt, after the 1693 earthquake, by Antonio Scirè who enriched it with a cross base.  Today in this church every Good Friday is celebrated the crucifixion and the deposition of Christ.

Festivals and religious traditions 

The religious festivals present in Militello are: the Patron Saint celebrations, the Holy Week and the All SoulsDay.

Among the age-old traditions, one characteristic of our people is that of the Patriarch Giuseppe, typical and very significant in the whole of our island, this ceremony is prepared on the evening of 17th March. 

The Patron Saints celebrations: every year, from the first ten-day period of August to the middle of September, we have in Militello the two most important religious and folk shows.  The first one is that of the SS.  Salvatore, the second one is that of the Madonna della Stella.

The festival of the SS.  Salvatore starts the evening of the 8th August.  That evening there is the "Cantata" that is a hymn of praise to our Lady for opening all the celebrations. 

The festival of the Madonna della Stella, Main Patron, begins on 29th August with the traditional “Cantata”.

The Holy Week: who has the fortune of to find himself in Militello on Shrove Thursday and the Good Friday, will have done surely a deep knowledge of the pity and of the faith that surround the rites of the Passion of Christ. 

The All Souls Day: is an occasion for the children of the South of Italy for having a present. In fact, while the adults bring their respect to Dead Ones with flowers and candles, the children await with anxiety the gifts of the dead, because they are convinced that the dead for their buy the toys in the stands that are arranged in the inhabited centre.