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St. Onofrio di Serramonacesca hermitage

Municipality: Serramonacesca (PE)

Locality: Fosso di S. Onofrio, a circa 725 m s.l.m.

Building: Placed under a boulder, the hermitage develops on two levels and consists of a church and of a housing area.
The church, rebuilt in 1948, is supposed to have been smaller and low: above the altar a recess hosts the statue of St. Onofrio covered only by his beard and long white hair.
Two small doors on either side of the altar lead to a room carved into the rock with the Cradle of St. Onofrio, a bed carved into the cliff, resting place of the saint - according to tradition – and now destination of the ritual of rubbing. From here you get to a cave which gradually narrows into an unexplored tunnel.
To the left of the altar an arch allows to enter other areas, constituting the original nucleus of the hermitage, together with the lower floor and the room behind the altar. In the lower part there are two rooms with barrel vaulted ceilings.

History and tradition: The origin of this hermitage should be linked to the presence of the St. Liberatore a Majella monastery. The cave formed, perhaps, a place of retreat and prayer, then it was used for agro-pastoral activities. The hermitage is located near a ridge contended between the monks and the neighboring countries by means of legal disputes. Every 11th of June, in the evening, the inhabitants of Serramonacesca expose a cross illuminated with bituminous material (St. Onofrio's Fire) and on the following day, feast of the saint, they reach the hermitage to attend the mass and then to carry in procession a replica of St. Onofrio's statue: according to tradition, in the past the statue left its place in the church during the night of June 11th to return to the hermitage. In this place, pilgrims practice the ritual of rubbing against the stone with miraculous functions.

Reachable by: Path S (Spirith Path)

Visit information: CEA (Center for Environmental Education) Grande Faggio – Tel. +39. 0871.898143 - +39. 335.5995995

Image of the altar of "St. Onofrio di Serramonacesca" hermitage
Image of outside of "St. Onofrio di Serramonacesca" hermitage
Image of St. Onofrio di Serramonacesca hermitage
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