Church Santa Marina

Via del Teatro, 30, 06044 Castel Ritaldi PG, Italia

Simona Bertolaso

Castel Ritaldi


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Scarce and confused are the stories about the Saint, many legends exist about her. Daughter of a widower, who retired in the monastery at his wife’s death, leaving his daughter to the relatives, Marina also came in the convent disguised herself as a man with the name of Marino. In a day of begging they stopped to sleep at an inn, just while the innkeeper’s daughter became pregnant with a soldier. Once discovered the fact, the young blamed Marino who for driven from the monastery for this reason. When the child of the latter was born, they brought him to Marino and was brought out of the convent. When one day Marino was readmitted to the convent, she had to submit to the hardest services that made her sick until she died. Only when she was buried, people realized that she was actually a woman and immediately venerated her as a saint. Also her accuser venerated her. Taken by a demon, she was freed. Since that day, the cult of Saint Marina took over. Many are the vicissitudes of the Holy corpse of Saint Marina, but no one knows how and when she became Patron of Ritaldi Castel. The fact is that that devotion toward the saint is still alive. A wooden statue with very little angels still represents her in the inside of the church, in a glass case. She holds a baby and has a noble lovely and suffering face. When the parish was transferred from the Parish Church, this became the core center of the county associations for the sacraments and the village life. An old monastic choir there was in Gothic style, and also an organ in the choir loft, both disappeared. The presbytery (although it is said it has been ruined), was raised by two steps and enclosed by an arch that rests on two pillars. Under the old grid floor, the visitor can find the crypt for meetings of the SS. Sacrament Society. To the right of a niche with a fresco by Tiberio of Assisi (disciple of Perugino). In the Calaotta, the Eternal Blessing Christ is depicted in of golden clouds with a globe in his hand and an iridescent arc; all around nine seraphs and two little angels. In the center of the drum is present St. Catherine the Martyr of Alexandria with Tobiolo (and Raphael the archangel) on the left and Pope St. Sylvester I (above a dead dragon) on the right. Under the basin there’s a band with a text not easily decipherable. To the left of the main altar here’s another one dedicated to the Madonna del Soccorso. On the wall, a picture of the Virgin with a large starry mantle that frees a child possessed by a demon driving him with a rope. Also depicted is the Desolate Mother and the little mat in a bright landscape with people and trees. The scroll below bears the words “Sancta Maria populo castri Ritaldi, 1509”. Legend tells about the painting which should be referred to a true story in which a woman unable to put the baby to sleep invoked the devil, but once regretted then she implored the Virgin Mary. The board is attributed to Melanzio of Montefalco. At the bottom was a crucifix of ‘300 and an altar, the latter one was demolished while the first one moved on to the sacristy. A fourteenth-century fresco in the apse with many saints. In the chapel dedicated to St. Anthony Abate, a fragmentary series of frescoes and an altar dedicated to Santa Marina on the wall next to the sacristy.

Source: “A Castel Ritaldi tra storia, arte e poesia” – Mario Tabarrini

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