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Church of the Holy Souls in Purgatory (Alcamo)

Church of the Holy Souls
Chiesa Anime Sante.jpg
The façade
Basic information
Location Alcamo, province of Trapani, Italy
Affiliation Salesians
Rite Catholic
Municipality Alcamo
Territory Alcamo
State Italy
Province province of Trapani
Region Sicily
Architectural description
Architect(s) Giacomo Leone
Architectural type modern
Groundbreaking 1958

The Church of the Holy Souls in Purgatory is a Catholic Church located in Alcamo, in the province of Trapani.

Adjoing it there is the Salesian Oratory of Don Bosco

The Church, even if it had been planned in 1577, was built only in 1813 by Company of the Holy Monte di Pietà, near the cemetery of the plague victims which was located in contrada Sant'Ippolito, whose Church gave the name to a casale (=hamlet) among the oldest ones in Alcamo. After the falling down of the old Church of Sant'Ippolito at the end of the 18th century, there was the need of a new Church (1816), which was dedicated to the Holy Souls of Purgatory.

As it was falling, the Church was left and the tombs destroyed: the bones and mortal remains were moved to common graves in the cemetery of Spirito Santo and the land was given to the town municipality as a limestone quarry.

In 1942 it became an autonomous parish; in 1937 they buily the clergy house and, in 1964, the crypt under the structure of the present Church was consecrated.

The Salesians, founded in 1855 by San Giovanni Bosco, in order to give instruction to children from poor families, had the approvation by Pope Pius IX in 1874.[3] Since October 5, 1958, the firsti Salesians (Don Girolamo Giardina, as the Parson, Don Giuseppe Falzone as the Director of the Oratorio and the assistant Antonino Miraglia), inaugurated the long awaited Salesian Home. After so many bureaucratic difficulties, they succeeded in founding the Oratory Don Bosco (Salesian Centre for Youth) in the premises next to the parish Church of the Holy Souls, which was built by them on the same place of the old 19th century Church.

During the period of their presence in Alcamo, the Salesians together with liturgical activities, have made several cultural, recreational activities, and above all, theatre for young people: just remember in 2014 an important and successful project which involved a lot of teenagers and educators of the community, Don Bosco the musical. Besides, from 1969 to 1974, they published, under the direction of P.F. Mistretta, a periodical with the title: God’s Family, a fortnightly news bullettin of the parish of the Holy Souls and of the Salesian Organiation in Alcamo.

The Church with one nave, at first had only an altar, for which the painter Raffaele Genovese (from Palermo) realized in 1854 a great canvas representing the Souls of Purgatory, with Our Lady of Miracles above them, and Saint Rocco e Saint Sebastian at the two sides: this painting was lost later.

  • Carlo Cataldo: Guida storico-artistica dei beni culturali di Alcamo-Calatafimi-Castellammare Golfo p. 82; Sarograf, Alcamo, 1982
  • Carlo Cataldo: La conchiglia di S.Giacomo p. 238; Campo,Alcamo, 2001
  • Tommaso Papa: La Chiesa delle Anime Sante e lo Spirito di S.Giovanni Bosco in Alcamo; Vento; Trapani,1965


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