Celestinian Hermitage of San Bartolomeo in Legio
In the millenary search for the transcendence that man has always led, the solemn landscape of the Abruzzo Apennines has played a fundamental role: the mountain, here, before being a physical element is a spiritual symbol. That's why we can not say we really saw Abruzzo without knowing the most characteristic aspect of its culture and its territory: the hermitages. The one in San Bartolomeo in Legio is one of the most spectacular Celestinian Majella hermitages. The building is spread out in a dry landscape, under a rocky ridge that covers it completely enough to blend in the rock. It was built in a period prior to the year 1000 and subsequently restored around 1250 by Celestino V who used it for the numerous Lent which he underwent. The rooms of the hermitage, which is a small convent in the rock with an adjoining chapel, can be reached through a staircase carved into the stone, the Scala Santa, which leads to a rocky balcony at the end of which the church appears with surprising effect. Inside, on a simple altar, there is a wooden statue of S. Bartolomeo and, on the left wall, a basin that collects a resurgence of water that the devotees believe to be miraculous. Every year on August 25th there are numerous companies of pilgrims; after the mass they descend to the river that flows under the rocky ridge and get wet, repeating an ancient ritual. Various penitential acts are made, breakfast is taken along the river and we go back to the hermitage for the procession that carries the statue of San Bartolomeo in the church of Roccamorice, where it remains exposed to the worship of the faithful until 9 September, when a similar pilgrimage brings it back hermitage. Not far away, under another rock shelter, archaeological excavations have uncovered the presence of a stone-age village.
Town Hall Via de Horatiis 1, Roccamorice (Pe) Telephone 085 8572132 Opening by appointment