CHIESA MADRE DI SULMONA

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JJOC1414
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CHIESA MADRE DI SULMONA

Postby JJOC1414 » 30 May 2008, 13:03

I have information from a church registry in Newark NJ that my maternal grandfather was baptized in Sulmona at a church he called Chiesa Madre. When I look for this church in the Pagine Bianche or with any other search tool, it seems that this church does not exist.

I can think of a couple of possibilites but wonder if anybody has other ideas. One possibility is that, given the limited space in the registry, he was using the words generically rather than as a full proper name (which might be Chiesa della SS Trinità, for example). Another possibility is that this church was destroyed in either of the world wars and simply no longer exists.

I'll be visiting next week and I intend to ask around if there was ever a church by this name, but was wondering if there were any other idea before I go there.

Many thanks.

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suanj
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Re: CHIESA MADRE DI SULMONA

Postby suanj » 30 May 2008, 13:44

the church I believe is Chiesa Cathedral of San Panfilo called also Chiesa Madre... suanj
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JJOC1414
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Re: CHIESA MADRE DI SULMONA

Postby JJOC1414 » 30 May 2008, 14:46

suanj,

You're a gem! I looked up the Cathedral and found that it was built in 1075 and was originally dedicated to the Virgin Mary. It wasn't until the 12th century that it underwent a transformation and was dedicated to the patron saint of Sulmona, San Panfilo.

With this there can be no doubt that you are right (even before, I didn't doubt it!), but it amazes me that my grandfather, who was reporting his baptismal information in 1913, was still calling it Chiesa Madre. That says a lot about how deep traditions run in Italy, especially in smaller communities.

Once again, many thanks for this. I will visit the Cathedral and try to obtain his baptism certificate.

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Re: CHIESA MADRE DI SULMONA

Postby mraadams » 30 Mar 2009, 14:04

FYI....Chiesa Madre does not imply that it is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. It is the general term for the principal or "mother church" of the town. Most towns and villages still call their principal churches the Chiesa Madre. In Sulmona's case it is the Cathedral.

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JJOC1414
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Re: CHIESA MADRE DI SULMONA

Postby JJOC1414 » 30 Mar 2009, 15:05

Indeed, you are right. I visited the cathedral San Panfilo and spoke to the parish priest when I was there. He did confirm that the cathedral was also referred to as Chiesa Madre by the locals.


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