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CORTONA Art and religion -
The "Celle" Hermitage
Le Celle Hermitage Near Cortona
After Brother Elia’s death in Cortona in 1253, the Franciscan order fell into a complicated series of internal divisions. The hermitage was occupied by a community of "Spirituali", or "Fraticelli", until they were banished in 1363 after suffering excomunication from Pope John Giovanni XXII. Le Celle stood abandoned until 1537, when it was granted by the Bishop of Cortona to the recdently founded Third Order of Franciscans, known as the Capucins. The hermitage was considerably enlarged by the Capucins, who in 1634 erected a new chapel to take the place of the ancient chapel dedicated to St Michael. This new chapel was consecrated to St Anthony of Padua and reflects the simple, unpretentious architectural and decorative style of the Capucins. Unadorned by works of art, the chapel still has wooden altars.
Currently the hermitage is inhabited by seven friars who continue to practise the preachings of St Francis
Board: The convent is able to offer lodgings to those contemplating a vocational life and who are willing to take part in all of the community’s activities. Near the convent there are some 40 bed spaces available in houses for independent groups of visitors.
Spiritual retreat: Le Celle is able to offer a period of solitary prayer to priests for a minimum period of one week and lasting up to a month if necessary. This facility is availablee in a small hermitage above the convent itself.
For further information access the websitewww.lecelle.it.