Ferentino - Church of S. Antonio abbot and Monastery of Celestini

                                     Ferentino - Church of S. Antonio abbot and Monastery of Celestini
                                                                                    (13th century)
The most interesting monument is the church of S. Antonio Abbot and Monastery of Celestini Monks, built in 13th century whit tipical Gothic – Cistercian elements. It was founded by Peter Angelerio, known as Pope Celestin Vth, between 126 and 1270 over “Colle del Fico” in a hermitage dedicated to St. Anthony abbot.
                                                                          Photo by Fulvio Bernola
                   Ferentino - Church of S. Antonio abbot and Monastery of Celestini, southern side
The church, directly based on a large tufa bench, in 13th century, was painted with valuable frescoes, of which synopses remain because the church was tampered with in sec. XVIII. The church has a simple gabled facade  with bell tower set on one of the sloping. The facade is characterized by a single portal surmounted by a lunette all sixth.
The building has a plan with three naves with three chapels per side and transept. The end wall is straigth and was decorated with stucco in 18th century. In 1984 the restorations work have brought to light medieval frescos and a fresco dating from the early 14th century, life-size depicting St. Peter Celestine.
The church preserves, excavated in the central nave, the tomb, which guarded the body of Celestine V per thirty years (1296-1330).
                                          Ferentino, Church of S. Antonio abbot, Celestine’s tomb
Very interesting is the monastery complex, which leans over the church, recently restored; the Congregation of Celestini monks held it until the eighteenth century. The 13th century monastery has been defaced over the centuries, but still retains evident traces of the medieval period, especially in the cloister.
Celestin Vth, canonized in 1313 on May 5th, was proclaimed by the people patron of the city along with St. Ambrose martyr.
Ferentino preserves the precious relic of Celestines’s incorrupt heart.
                                        Ferentino – Celestine’s Relic of Celestine’s incorrupt heart