Address: Secinaro

Description

The lintel of the front entrance is engraved with the date of 1507.
The interior is a rare example of a religious building with two aisles and a sloping floor, however originally the church was only supposed to occupy the present left-hand nave as is shown by the location of the oldest frescoes dating back to 1500 representing St. John the Baptist and Saint Lucia. The church also contains a small clay statue from the 15th century depicting Motherhood enthroned, a 16th century fresco that tells the legend of the Virgin transported over sky and sea from Constantinople, as well as other 18th century statues of the saints Nicola, Agata, Gregorio and Giuseppe and an ancient font.

Historical Notes

The small church was built between the 14th and 15th centuries just outside the town in the highest part. It probably stands on the ruins of a pagan temple that, according to the oral tradition of the people, was dedicated to the sister of the goddess Pelina, a "Sicina" or "Sicinna". It is said that during the course of one of the rites sinful men saw a star and were dazzled, followed by a loud bang and a strong quake that caused destruction. The tragic event was blamed on the pagans but this accusation also claimed the death of many Christians. After a long period of darkness, the valley was finally enveloped by a beam of light, that of the Holy Virgin, arriving in flight from Lucoli to comfort the sinners. Hence the construction of the church dedicated to Our Lady of Consolation.