The farewell of the Franciscan friars to the convent of Nostra Signora del Monte, after 578 years, struck the Genoese community, which has been linked for centuries to the imposing structure on the heights of San Fruttuoso. It was the friars themselves who made the announcement, at the basis of the decision organizational problems, linked to the lack of friars, there were only four left to live in the convent. The question also reached the city council, through a question by Francesco De Benedictis of the Brothers of Italy.
Madonna del Monte, after 578 years the friars leave the convent
“Those born and lived in San Fruttuoso spent their childhood in the woods and meadows of the convent of Nostra Signora del Monte – De Benedictis began in the classroom – I remember the Sundays with my grandmother that began with a visit to the gazebo where they were sold hazelnut necklaces and continued with a walk in the woods before mass. And then the matches on the football field which, by heart, has remained the same for the last 60 years. A leap of the heart to find out what the Genoese could lose, I hope you can there is hope for Nostra Signora del Monte and also for the wood and the sports facility, I ask the administration for information on the situation “.
The commissioner for public works Pietro Piciocchi replied: “The decision of the friars to withdraw from this convent after 578 years of continuous Franciscan presence has deeply affected and saddened us. For some time we have been working to understand, with the Province of the Friars Minor, how can the administration be of support, if not to lead to a reconsideration of the choice, at least to keep the Sanctuary as a center of spirituality as it has always been in over 5 centuries of history, being an important point of reference for believers and not as the first city shrine. And naturally in addition to the theme of the spiritual presence in order to maintain a garrison and a fundamental area for well-being and leisure “.
“As is well known, – continues Piciocchi – the Municipality of Genoa is the owner of the friars’ wood, but not of the access to the wood, of that flat land that houses the football field, today maintained in a situation of absolute abandonment and decay. L he hope of the administration that we will renew to the Province of the Friars Minor is to enter the availability of that area. This would be the only way to start a work of redevelopment of the forest making it usable and increasing its enjoyment, opening an access also in the part low towards the area of San Martino. It is good – concludes the commissioner – that we all have at heart and want to protect, not all Genoese know it but it is beautiful, the agronomists’ offices also explained to me that it is characterized by the presence of absolutely rare essences. The commitment of the administration is there, with the unanimous consent of the Municipality, we will also take care of talking to the many volunteer citizens, including an association that has at heart the destiny of the sanctuary, to see how to join forces and understand how to maintain the garrison and guarantee a qualitative leap, regardless of whether or not the presence of the friars. However, I would add that the convent is closed but not the sanctuary which will be open for Sunday celebrations and we thank the Franciscan nuns who have made themselves available to guarantee opening on weekdays “.