Oratorio della “Madonna Rifugio dei Peccatori Pentiti”
via Maqueda, 74
The Oratorio stands on Via Maqueda in the historical centre of Palermo. Following the establishment of the congregation of Madonna Rifugio dei Peccatori Pentiti, in 1616 two seats were created: the monastery of the Terziari Francescani at Sant’Anna and a new oratory on Via Maqueda. One of the main objectives of this religious association was the organisation of the procession of the Passion of Christ on Good Friday, which included the participation of the ‘gaggiara’, the makers of birdcages. In the twentieth century, following the dissolution of the congregation, various confraternities such as that of the Chierici dei Santi Pietro e Paolo and Maria SS. della Mercede gave the building its present form as a church. The devotion to the Virgin is reflected in the themes of the paintings on the ceiling and the counter-facade. The only work of remaining work of art of the Oratorio is a large canvas depicting Madonna Rifugio dei Peccatori Pentiti, made for the niche presbytery facade over the altar. The work was painted by Giacinto Calandrucci, an artist from Palermo who realised also the paintings in the church of SanGiuseppe dei Teatini.
In 2013 the Oratorio provided exhibition space for the Fondazione d’arte contemporanea G.O.C.A. The foundation was also involved in the refurbishment of the building.
Oratorio della “Madonna Rifugio dei Peccatori Pentiti” is part of the section City on Stage of The Planetary Garden. Cultivating Coexistence and hosts a video-installation by Yuri Ancarani.