Saturday, 17 January 2015

Best of 2014

Finding this beautiful old church in Turrivalignano with its mysterious carvings was a highlight

My spiritual home amongst the slopes of the Maiella perhaps one day I'll bump into the ghost of San Pietro and exchange greetings!

My lovely gentle Billy who we said goodbye to in 2014 we'll remember you Billy -rip

My mum's stay in March

Some 'weeds' I had to clear from the terrace- Portmerion meets Abruzzo in a very lovely colaboration

As always its a joy to discover so much locally produced food and drink ! Polenta and Rose wine.

Happy Processions - Serramonacesco May

The very tacky side of Naples

And not at all tacky shopping arcade in Naples

One of the few Earth Houses standing in Manoppello about to crumble

No Shelia and Bob this wasn't made just for you !

the all seeing eye Serramonacesca

Last year I attended the service and procession in Serramonacesca but I totally failed to notice this up in the roof !

Knights Templar

What was the relationship between the knights Templar and Pietro da Morrone ?  Did they act to protect him during his mountain rambles in a time where he would have been vulnerable both to attacks by wild animals and local brigands?

During this time there were roads across the region One road known as VIA DEGLI ABRUZZI from Naples to Popoli where it divided into 2 branches; one along the Aterno river towards L'Aqulia then Umbria and Tuscany and the other along the Pescara Valley to the Adriatic.

Pligrim Sandal carved into the stone entrance to many churches in Abruzzo - representing a symbol of the journey of faith that led to a particular place of worship.

If the Knights Templar did arrive in Abruzzo by ship from The Holy Land where did they land and what made them choose to visit such an inaccessible and unpopulated region?

A church now on the edge of the new cemetery in Turrivalignano

The Maiella Mountains above Manoppello with path leading to the ruins of Pietro di Morrone's Monastry

 In the film I uploaded the hypothesis put forward is the Aquila was built to resemble Jerusalem and that the Basilica of Collemaggio 'hides' in some corner The Treasure of the Temple of King Solomon which was brought to Italy by the Knights Templar.

mysterious stone carvings?

Well maybe not so mysterious but I find this simple carvings incredibly moving. They are such a strong connection between the past and present . I have even thought about adding my own carving in 2015 but what symbol should I choose? As an atheist it wont be anything religious but it could be spiritual? I'll need to think it over.

This cross is carved on the entry to Santa Maria Arrabona- sadly the local limestone is easily affected by the weather so many of the lightly incised line are very hard to see however the criss crossing pattern of many different carvings can just be made out and is very similar to our stones in Contrada Foce

One of the strangest of these symbols must be these weird foot shapes! Actually they were carved by pilgrims as a sign pilgrims were welcome (?) or as a form of early graffiti 'I was here'?

The Flower of Life is found carved in many local churches including The Santa Maria Di Arrabona and San Liberatore in Serramonacesco. There is a significance to the number of petals in the flower: They represent the 6 days of Christ.

The Knights Templar in Abruuzo Voyager - Puntata 12 maggio 2008

Ever since we discovered some very early Christian symbols carved into the stones of our house I have been interested in investigating the early Christians in Abruzzo.

This 30 min film (in Italian) presents a fascinating, if far fetched scenario where some Knights Templar bought a sacred ark from the Holy Land to Abruzzo and handed it to Pietro da Morrone who was at that time living in various remote hermitages in the Abruzzo mountains including one only a mile from our house.

from Wikipedia

According to tradition, Pietro Angelerio was born to parents Angelo Angelerio and Maria Leone in a town called Sant'Angelo Limosano, in the Kingdom of Sicilia (Sicily). Sant'Angelo Limosano is now part of Provincia di Campobasso, in Molise, Italy.
After his father's death he began working in the fields. His mother Maria was a key figure in Pietro's spiritual development: she imagined a different future for her deeply beloved son than becoming just a farmer or a shepherd. From the time he was a child, he showed great intelligence and love for others. He became a Benedictine monk at Faifoli in the Diocese of Benevento when he was 17. He showed an extraordinary disposition toward asceticism and solitude, and in 1239 retired to a solitary cavern on the mountain Morrone, hence his name (Peter of Morrone). Five years later he left this retreat, and went with two companions to a similar cave on the even more remote Mountain of Maiella in the Abruzzi region of central Italy, where he lived as strictly as possible according to the example of St. John the Baptist. Accounts exist of the severity of his penitential practices.