in Sardinia and Corsica
94, Viale Sant'Ignazio da Laconi
SARDINIA - More than four centuries have passed, since the Capuchins'
arrival in Sardinia: they actually came to the island in 1591, when the
Order had already developed all over in Italy. Papal Authority was granted
to the Order in 1528. Led by Father Zeffirino da Bergamo, a small group
of Friars settled in Sardinia (in Cagliari and Sassari) and were welcomed
warmly everywhere. The "Beautiful and Holy Reformation" was progressively
expanding everywhere: houses were opened in: Sassari (1591), Cagliari (1591),
Ozieri (SS) (1592), Iglesias (CA) (1596), Sanluri (CA) (1608), Oristano
(1608), Bosa (NU)(1608), Nulvi (SS) (1608). A hundred years later the seed
has become a tree, which extends its branches almost everywhere on the island.
The Friars multiplied, making their mark on Sardinian History. They were
present not only in the towns but also in the agricultural and pastoral
centres. You can see that the Capuchins shared the Sardinian people's pains,
joys, and achievements. The Friars were received warmly by the people in
their villages and were given hospitality and were taken care of. They were
known as the Friars of the people, because they were always close to the
people. As the number of Friars grew, there was a need to set up a more
formal structure. Seventeen years after their arrival in Sardinia, Sardinia
was made a Capuchin Province ( 1608). Ninety years later there were two
distinct Provinces, Cagliari and Sassari (1697). In Sardinia, as everywhere
in Italy, everything soon changed, because of the suppression of Religious
Orders decreed by the Civil Authorities. There was a long period of suffering
for the Church: Friars were forced to leave their Friaries and go elsewhere.
Supported by Friars from other Provinces in Italy (such as Genova, Lucca
and Rome), the Sardinian Capuchins managed to overcome that difficult period
of "reconstruction", until finally they sat their "acknowledgement"
of their autonomy (1972).
In the photos (fom the left to right): Brother Giacomo da Decimoputzu,
Brother Nicolò da S.Vero Milis, Brother Paolo da Cuglieri, St.Ignazio
da Laconi and Brother Nicola da Gesturi.
Among the Capuchins who distinguished themselves in Sanctity during
the last four centuries we remember: Brother Giacomo da Decimoputzu (XVII
century), Brother Paolo da Cuglieri ( 1650-1726), St.Ignazio da Laconi (1701-1781),
Brother Nicolò da S.Vero Milis ( 1631-1781), and Brother Nicola da
Among the eminent scholars were Father Giorgio Aleo ( 1637-1672), an Historian;
Brother Antonio Maria da Esterzili ( XVII century), a Playwrigt. Both within
and outside the Order these Capuchins had important responsabilities: Father
Salvatore Saba da Ozieri ( 1863), First General Minister of our Order and
later Archbishop and Papal Nuncio in India; Father Serafino Carchero da
Cuglieri ( 1847), founder and First Bishop of the Diocese of Ogliastra,
later Bishop of Ozieri; and Father Luigi Maria Agus da Ghilarza (1816-1877),
vice-postulator of Beatification of Brother Ignazio da Laconi and Reorganiser
of the Capuchin Order in Sardinia after the period of suppression.
Even though there are not as many Sardinian Capuchin Friars as there were
in the past, we still have 9 friaries in Sardinia ( Cagliari, Sanluri (CA),
Iglesias (CA), Laconi (NU), Oristano, Sassari, Mores (SS), Sorso(SS), Lanusei
(NU) and we devote ourselves to working in:
Parishes, Hospitals, Prisons, Sanctuaries, School, Poor's Assistance, Missions
Bastia ( Corsica) - St. Antoine Friary
Corsica - The Capuchins arrived in Corsica fifty years later than in Sardinia.
Our Friary in Bastia (the only one still open) was built in 1540. This was
the first Friary outside the Italian mainland. It was founded by Father
Mariano da Nebbio.
In the space of a few years 5 other Friaries were founded: Belgodere (1543),
Luri (1548), S:Pietro di Tenda (1552), Vescovato (1554) and Pizzo-Brando
A rapid and inexorable increase was due to a lot of vocations. This led
to the building of other Friaries (Santa Reparata, Olmeta, Cagnano-Oveglia,
Calvi, Speloncato, Piedicorte di Gaggio, Ersa, Ajaccio, Corte, S.Martino
di Lota, Linguizzetta di Verde, Prunelli di Fiumorbo e Olmeto).
In 1608 the Corsica Province had more than 52 Friars and in 1625, 133 Friars;
in 1650, 164 Friars; in 1717, 300 Friars.
Even in Corsica the Capuchins devoted themselves to preaching in Parishes,
to the Religious Education of children in villages, to helping the poor.
Many Missionaries went abroad to work as Missionaries to Foreign Lands.
After the great expansion in the XVII century there was the difficult period
in the XVIII century during the French Revolution. Even in Corsica there
was the Suppression of Religious Orders, the expulsion of Friars, the closure
of the Friaries and the confiscation of Church Property. This continued
until 1903. Things did not improve until after the First World War . Since
1984, there has only been one Capuchin Friary in Corsica.
The Friary in Bastia is kept open by Sardinian Capuchin Friary.
For information contact
P. MARCO TARCISIO MASCIA