Restoration of the Icon of Our Lady in the Church of SS. Trinita dei Pellegrini

Project location: Italy, Rome
Project start date: January 2009 - Project end date: December 2009
Project number: 2008-35
Beneficiary: Parrocchia Personale della SS. Trinità dei Pellegrini

The Church of Trinita dei Pellegrini in Rome, built in the late sixteenth century by the Archconfraternity of the Trinity, founded by St. Filippo Neri, was in later centuries and until the nineteenth century continuously enriched with works of art and architecture (the vast complex of halls, oratories, galleries, refectories, cloisters, dormitories, the two large kitchens - one in a circular plan and covered by a dome - were confiscated along with all of its assets after 1870 and then demolished) by the Archconfraternity, whose mission was to welcome and provide assistance to the poor pilgrims in Rome.
The Archconfraternity included all the princes and the Roman nobility who, by performing the act of washing the feet of pilgrims and serve them, were an example of charity and humility.
The richness and greatness of this religious institution is reflected not only in the magnificence of the church of the Trinity and the works that it contains but also in furnishings and vestments, which remain, despite the vicissitudes of the Archconfraternity and the building of the Trinity, still numerous and of considerable value.
This Church, which still houses the Archconfraternity, was almost forgotten since the 40s and has almost always remained closed and scarcely visited, a kind of secret place, still in time, which has not suffered the devastation of the reformed liturgy against the altar and liturgical furnishings.
The Church of Trinità dei Pellegrini, by the will of Pope Benedict XVI, is now the Parish for the traditional rite of the Diocese of Rome, an extraordinary event that has functioned as a sort of bridge between the past centuries' great liturgical and artistic tradition of the Trinity and the present days.
The parish priest Fr Joseph Kramer, following the lead of Pope Benedict XVI has pursued a vertical, high concept of the liturgy, expression and inspiration of Western civilization, and its spiritual concept of beauty.
The worship and liturgy inspired and created the most extraordinary, most splendid works of civilization: no royal palace has never surpassed the beauty and magnificence of Churches consecrated to God, and this is evident also in the splendid liturgical furnishings preserved in the Trinity: now that the church is assigned to traditional worship, they were again pulled out of the cupboards and closets and are used and exposed, and can exist in the context for which they were created.
It is a global view of worship and liturgy, deeply interwoven with the artistic civilization of the West and with the artistic concept of beauty as an expression of the Divine, a concept hitherto mortified over the past decades.
It is for this vision that the organization wishes to start a campaign for restoration of the splendid, even if neglected, liturgical and artistic heritage of the Trinity, which needs not be seen in a museum approach, but in a continuous, living offer.

Inside the church of SS Trinità dei Pellegrini is a chapel dedicated to Our Lady, where there is a a fresco on the wall completely blackened by centuries. The picture is no longer visible, one can guess it is the face of the Virgin by the jewels that adorn her, but it is completely worn out.
The miraculous icon of Our Lady, spurred by St. Filippo Neri, was detached in 1562 from Capranica palace, and cardinal von Waldburg protector of the Archconfraternity had it enthroned in the parish church of St. Benedict in Arenula, where the current Church of the Trinity was later built.
In 1613 the miraculous icon was placed on the present altar, framed in the painting by Novara depicting the SS. Benedict (in memory of the church of St. Benedict in Arenula) and Joseph. The painting, completed in 1618, is one of the most representative works of the painter, who also painted the frescoes in the chapel Maffioli and his altarpiece (now in the sacristy) and the Prophets in the dome's pendentives.
The icon of Our Lady, famous for the many miracles, was crowned by the Chapter of St. Peter in the Vatican with a precious crown, and later stolen by the French invaders. The current crowns, simpler, were replaced later.

The Nando Peretti Foundation has funded the restoration of the fresco, the painting in which it is placed, and the opening and closing mechanism of the artistic complex, entrusting it to Christine Brouillet, one of the most famous restorers of the Monuments and Fine Arts Office in Rome, respected for her professionalism and integrity.

Parrocchia Personale della SS. Trinità dei Pellegrini

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