Professor Romualdo Sassi, in the book “Pia University of Cartai of Fabriano and his Church of St. Mary Magdalene, “wrote that originally it was a church of a hospital. We must remember that in the Middle Ages they did not have the same functions as modern hospitals, in fact, were small and inconspicuous, in a sense could be called nursing homes, they were intended to assist the poor and pilgrims. Fabriano of hospitals at that time counted a dozen, generally consisted of a few rooms, a kitchen, a dorm with a few bed, and some smaller services, while the staff was made up of some religious or secular. Although the date of the founding of the church is not known, it is certain, as you can see from a bequest, which already existed in 1326. Later, the hospital was run by a religious Rector who was also responsible for the church. Later they were called the Brothers of the Holy Spirit to administer the hospital. They were dressed in black with the symbol of a double red cross. Their order was secular, with the exception of a priest, and was founded by French knight templar Guido Guillaume de Montpellier in 1170. He took care of the sick and pilgrims in his town , created in 1174, the home hospital Saint Esprit. In 1198 the order was approved by Pope Innocent III, who moved the headquarters in Rome hospital of St. Saxia in spirit. The purpose of the hospital was to treat the poor the sick and the orphans, were called for this purpose experts in medicine. Returning to the Church of St. Mary Magdalene, in 1391 the church and the hospital are directed by a Dalmatian friar Tommaso di Marco from Zara. In 1487 it was prior and rector of our own and several other churches with hospitals, Gualdo, Tolentino, Nocera and Camerino, Professor of S. Spirit Brother John Henry de Flanders, a Flemish. Then the hospital ceased to operate. The cult of St. Mary Magdalene had acquired over time of enormous importance to our town, according to certain acts of the Commune of 1453, it is known that the feast of July 22 was mandatory and those who worked, was heavily fined. The devotion of Fabriano papermakers in Santa Maria Maddalena was very old, thanks to a miracle in a paper mill in 1599, it became bigger. Since the church was the headquarters of a brotherhood quite old, of the Crucifix, many workers and owners papermakers were part of it. At the beginning of 1700 there were as many as 800 members who paid a chaplain to say Mass every day and for have the blessed bread at Easter. In 1839 Pope Gregory XVI, following a request of the Corporation of Cartai entrusts the church at the University of Cartai of Fabriano. In celebration of July 22, 1858, was inaugurated the church after a major restoration. Another major restoration work was done in 1934-35 thanks to the Hon. Giambattista Miliani. In the course of these works were discovered fourteenth-century frescoes.
(Translation of what the “L’Azione” has Published on February 25, 2012)
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