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Regina Pacis parish church

"Last in foundation is in Monopoli the convent of Maria Regina Pacis of the Passionist Fathers who arrived in Apulia, coming from Abruzzo, in 1866 because they had been expelled from that region by the suppression operated by the Savoy government. In the Land of Apulia, the fathers of the Passionist Congregation, desired by Paolo Danei and first approved by Benedict XIV, found hospitality in Manduria in a modest accommodation from which they were evicted in 1867.
In 1881, however, a new convent was opened in the same town, and with it the Mother House of the Passionist Province of Apulia, Basilicata and Calabria. This foundation was followed by those of Novoli and Ceglie Messapica. In Monopoli, the fleeting presence of the Passionists had already aroused interest among the population since 1890, but it was not until 1921 that a town committee built a chapel with a few rooms attached on land donated to the Congregation by Canon Don Vito Aversa.
On 14 September 1947, the foundation stone was laid for the beautiful new Regina Pacis church designed by engineer Giambattista Giannoccaro. At the end of 1949, the church was blessed and in 1970 it was elevated to the parish title and entrusted to the care of the Passionists, who left it for good in 1984. The church is neat in its simplicity, modest and graceful in its short portico, welcoming for the light and for the saints who come to meet the faithful'.1

"Of particular interest inside is the oil on panel painting by Lucillo Grassi depicting the Madonna. By the same author are the frescoes (Renaissance style) one representing the Nativity and the other the Coronation of the Blessed Virgin in Heaven. Ten fresco paintings depicting twelve apostles behind the apse are a beautiful sight due to their vivid colours. Two sculptural groups are also of undoubted note: on the left side, the crucified Christ releasing an arm to extend it to St Paul, the founder of the order; opposite, Our Lady of Sorrows and two saints in contemplation, St Gemma Galgani and St Gabriel of Sorrows. The cult for the Virgin is strong, especially in May, when the statue is brought into the community for the Holy Rosary'.2

1 Michele Pirrelli, Between convents and monasteries, religious houses in Monopoli.
2 Francesco Pepe, Monopoli unique city, tourist and cultural guide, Zaccaria editions.

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CREDITS: Comune di Monopoli.

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