To restore the urn of the dead Christ of San Giovanni Gemini to its ancient splendor


The Urn dating back to 1700 has returned to its former glory, which houses the papier-mâché simulacrum of the dead Christ of the Mother Church of San Giovanni Gemini. On the occasion of Good Friday 2022, at 9.00 pm, at the Mother Church dedicated to San Giovanni Battista, the Archpriest Don Luca Restivo blessed and inaugurated the urn masterfully restored after a year and a half of work by the Palermitan Ivana Mancino who he presided over the event by briefly describing the interventions made. The restoration was fully financed by Professor Irene Catarella, great-granddaughter of the Bishop of Piazza Armerina Antonino Catarella (1942-1970) to whom she dedicated it. The Professor reiterated that her uncle's motto was Ut essemus sancti in charitate, "So that we can be holy in charity", because he was a man who stood out for his help to others. "A symbol of all the suffering in the world: this is the meaning of the Urn of the dead Christ which, manifesting all its artistic beauty, reminds us how all the atrocities that humanity undergoes and has suffered, diseases, wars and more, they will have a ransom and in the meantime they are enclosed in that precious container together with Jesus Crucified who reminds us not to be indifferent to the pain of others, to take care of it and to try to soothe and comfort it and overcome it with all our strength ", this certainty brought the Professor Catarella to promote the restoration of this precious work of art. The work was followed up with the high supervision of the Superintendency of Cultural and Environmental Heritage of Agrigento and the Ecclesiastical Heritage Office of the Archbishop's Curia of Agrigento. Inside the urn the statue of the dead Christ was placed on a wooden bed specially made to insert the statue from above with cords. "The recovery of the work was a very interesting job", the restorer Mancino reiterated, "in fact it has restored its original pastel colors to their ancient splendor hidden by thick layers of yellowed and oxidized paint that prevented a correct reading of the wonderful faux marble decoration ". Furthermore, the ancient lion's legs that were kept in the parish rooms were recovered and the marvelous floral decorations of the structure and the majestic lid were brought to light. A new wooden base was also built which allowed the urn to be used immediately in the procession through the streets of the town held with the participation of the Mayor Carmelo Panepinto, the Sangiovannese Administration and countless faithful, after the blessing of Don Luca who remembered how the urn, symbol of the filial devotion of the faithful to Jesus Nazarene who died on the cross for us, was by now unusable and how, therefore, this restoration was providential. In memory of the restoration, a plexiglass plate has been affixed to the base of the urn with the inscription "In memory of Bishop Antonino Catarella, his great-granddaughter Irene Catarella offers the restoration of this Urn which began in September 2020 and ended for Easter 2022. ".


Page dedicated to Irene Catarella Poetess and writer

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