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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Chiesa Del Ss. Crocifisso At Il Collegio Rosmini

Il Collegio Rosmini, on the hill behind the city of Stresa, as seen from Lago Maggiore.

This week there was a special mass held in Stresa, at la Chiesa del Ss. Crocifisso at the Collegio Rosmini. The mass was in celebration of the second anniversary of the beatification of Antonio Rosmini, which took place on November 18, 2007, after it was authorized by Pope Benedetto XVI.

This is the interior of the sanctuary at la Chiesa del Ss. Crocifisso at Il Collegi Rosmini.

It's impossible to walk around Stresa without noticing the name Antonio Rosmini, and wondering who was this man who is featured so prominently here. There are streets and buildings named for him, a statue of him along the lungolago, and, of course, the imposing college that sits on a hilltop on the southern side of town. So, who was he? Born into a wealthy and respected family of Roverato in 1797, Rosmini decided at an early age to enter the priesthood, and he was ordained in 1821. He studied philosophy, and wrote much on the subject, but by the 1840s his beliefs and his writings had aroused great opposition in the church, and many of his works became forbidden readings. Rosmini, confident in his convictions, retired. He moved to Stresa, where he had already established a boarding school and center of education thanks to the very generous donations of Anna Maria Bolongaro, a wealthy and devout Stresiana who was a friend and follower. He would live in Stresa for the rest of his life. During his years in Stresa he taught his beliefs to his followers, who are called Rosminians. The Rosminians were both priests and nonclergy who believed in his ideas, and they followed his practice of educating youth, preaching, and performing works of universal charity. Before he died, in 1855, he did have the satisfaction of knowing that his questionable works had been declared free from censure.

What were his teachings that were so controversial? Rosmini devoted his studies to the old questions asked by many of the ancient philosophers, those of the origins, truths, and certainties of our ideas, and what, in essense, our human sense of 'being' is, where it derives from.

Clearly, the perception of Rosmini's works and his teachings have changed much in the 150 years since his death. So much so that, on June 26, 2006, Pope Benedetto XVI signed a decree recognizing Rosmini's heroic virtues, declaring him to be Venerable. Then followed the beatification in November 2007. Should any miracles be attributed to Rosmini, and should they be proven, he will become a saint. In the meantime, members of his parish are permitted to pray to him.

Today, Il Collegio Rosmini in Stresa is a world-renowned religious, cultural, and educational center. Inside, Rosmini's remains are interred in a crypt in the Chiesa del Ss. Crocifisso. His bones are watched over by statues of the saints from the Lago Maggiore area. In a side chapel is a statue of Rosmini, kneeling with a book, sculpted by Vincenzo Vela of Ticino.

Do you like looking at different churches? Here's are a couple of other posts about some:

Chiesa di Santo Gervasio e Protasio -- Baveno's Parish Church

Chiesa di San Remigio 

Or take a look at the entire category of chrches here.

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