I foglianti di Vercelli: da San Vittore a Sant’Andrea

Autore: Giorgio Tibaldeschi
In: Chiese d’Italia. 8
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The article examines the settlement of the Foglianti in Vercelli, from their arrival in 1622 at the church of San Vittore, to the subsequent move to the new church of the Consolazione and subsequently to the abbey of Sant’Andrea, up to the suppression in 1802. Their arrival was due to the initiative of Giacomo Goria, Bishop of Vercelli, who had met and appreciated the new Congregation in a year spent at the church of Santa Pudenziana in Rome. Having overcome the first difficulties with the confraternity of San Vittore, whose church and annexed premises had been assigned to the Foglianti, the small religious community soon acquired esteem and economic resources with which to carry out its mission. Perhaps due to new tensions with the confraternity of San Vittore, the Foglianti of Vercelli decided to move to another part of the city, to premises they had purchased, where in around 1694 they built a new monastery of the Consolata and a new church dedicated to Santi Vittore e Amedeo. In this new church they also transported a 15th century fresco from its original place in the church of San Vittore in 1719-1720. Over time, the community of Foglianti amounted to seven monks, two lay people and three secular servants, dedicated to administering the sacraments, caring for the sick, distributing food to the poor, prisoners and confreres of other religious communities. The centuries-old abbey of San Andrea was suppressed in 1798; the lateranensi were replaced by the Foglianti who had to pay considerable expenses to restore the ancient church and the annexes. A short time later, in September 1802, the Foglianti of Vercelli were also suppressed and they left the city, never to return.