storiaOn February 20, 1618, the Capuchin Friars - in the figure of Father Clemente da Castelletto - placed the cross on the land in the area of Castello and Buranco that the parliament of Monterosso had donated to them. The following year the construction began and the religious established in the monastery on March 28, 1622; the building was made up of twelve cells, plus community spaces, with multi-tiered gardens, church and churchyard.

 

On 23 May 1623 the Diocesan Bishop Gio Batta Salvago consecrated the Church with the title of the Immaculate Virgin and St. Francis of Assisi. The work lasted from 1620 to 1640, the convent housed an average of eight to ten people. The Capuchin Friars have always followed closely the fortunes of the village and have been an irreplaceable spiritual and concrete help.


In the nineteenth century, in spite of the population, the convent was closed due to Napoleonic laws: the stop took place in January 1810 when several monks were born in the monastery, some of whom took up residence in the hamlet and could thus continue guarding the Church.


In May 1816 part of the monastery was granted to the Friars. Indeed, the cloistral peace lasted for only fifty years. In 1867 the complex was again closed due to the laws of Savoy (Kingdom of Italy), to avoid the dismemberment of the gardens were bought by Pietro Benvenuto of Monterosso and the monastery was took over by the Reverend Giuseppe Pollicardo of Monterosso who lived there, with the intent of bringing it back to the Friars. The convent had opened again in 1895 by the same congregation that founded it. In the vegetable gardens, lemons and vineyards had grown, as well as vegetables and fruit trees. In the last decade of the twentieth century, the Congregation closed the convent for lack of religious and subsequently handled the structure. This was a sad time for the community of Monterosso, who had no more friars in the monastery, and unfortunately, the structure had others functions.


crocefissioneSince 2006 the Convent has returned to its ancient function as a place of peace and gathering and is open to hospitality for those who want to enjoy its mysticism, thanks to a project between the Capuchins Friars and the dynamism of those who volunteer there. The project promotes many activities of high cultural value and the enhancement and dissemination of local history, as well as the enhancement and knowledge of the artistic and historical heritage contained therein (numerous precious paints and the "Crucifixion" attributed to the Flemish painter Antoon Van Dyck). The most pure and immediate sense of the relationship between the village and the monastery find an expression in the words of an actor-artist and poet of Monterosso:
"There was a time, not long ago, when if you passed in front of the church, the door was closed, now finally, you pass and the door is open". 

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