18 November 2006
OSSUARY at STA. MARIA DELLA CONCEZIONE DEI CAPPUCCINI in ROME
Capuchin Friars of Rome
In 1631, the Capuchin friars left the friary of St. Bonaventure near the Trevi Fountain and came to live in the present one, of which only the church and cemetery remain. The remains of the deceased friars were transported from the old friary and laid to rest in this cemetery, underneath the present church. The bones were arranged along the walls, and the friars began to bury their own dead here, as well as the bodies of poor Romans, whose tomb was under the floor of the present Mass chapel. Here the Capuchins would come to pray and reflect each evening before retiring for the night. Over the years, until 1870, further alterations transformed this burial place into the work of art we see today. Its message is clear: death closes the gates of time, and opens those of eternity.
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