[Sept. 2022] So, in Modica, an inland town in the southwest of Sicily, we first visited St. Peter’s Church.
From the front, you will notice a rather long staircase flanked by 12 statues of saints.
That’s right, I remembered that the churches around here were in the form of climbing stairs to enter.
If the exterior is gorgeous, the interior is also gorgeous.
My husband commented, “It’s a well-maintained and rich church,” and later we found out why.
The origins of this church date back to the 14th century, but this area of Sicily was devastated by the 1693 earthquake, so the buildings that stand today date from after that time.
The building of the church we see now is from 1876 when the restoration was completed.
I couldn’t hear the sound, but there was also a splendid organ.
We knew that the church closes at 1:00 pm, so we took a quick look and went to the recently opened treasure room on the side.
Here, the curator was enthusiastically explaining to the visitors.
We also benefited from it and learned why this church is so rich.
In the 17th century, there was a woman who donated not only money, but also land, so he said that the income from that land is still coming in and that is why this church is rich.
The combination of the woman’s family crest bell and her mother’s crescent crest can be seen here and there, even embroidered on the priest’s gown.
According to him, this embroidery is handiwork of nuns, but all of them have already entered nursing homes, so this is the last one.
The most important treasure in this room is the statue of Mary on the right as soon as you enter.
It’s a single statue, but the curator pointed out that a devil was attached at the bottom corner of Mary’s skirt.
This is rare.
Also, there was a hand with the key was in the glass case.
It is said that in the olden days the bone of St. Peter were contained there, but now they is not.
According to the curator, it was removed because “the Vatican did not approve it, saying that it should not be shown to the general public.”
He explained that the Bible says that Jesus Christ gave the keys to heaven to St. Peter, so now even the priests of the church, who were not gods, can hear people’s confessions.
While listening to various stories like this, the time to close the church passed, and another person came to remind us of the time.
Thanks to this curator, our visit to the church has become very fulfilling.
If we just look at it ourselves, we won’t be able to understand it, and we won’t notice the details.
Apparently this curator has a daughter who lives in Camden, London and works at the National Gallery.
When we parted, he said “I want more people to know about this St. Peter’s Church.”, showing his enthusiasm and love to this church even at the last moment.