Massa Martana

Church of San Felice - Massa Martana

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Tourist information and welcome office
Piazza del Popolo 38 - 06059 Todi
In the main square of Massa Martana, which still retains thecharacteristics of a fortified center, lies the San Felice churchdedicated to the patron saint. The legend tells about the bishop andmartyr of the ancient Civitas Martana.
The current building is the result of numerous renovations and restorations. The last one was necessary after the destruction caused by bombing took place during the Second World War. Dating from the fifteenth and sixteenth century, in 1637 the bell tower was built . The fa├žade, made up of stone blocks, is divided into four large panes concluded, at the top, by a cornice and a fake balustrade. From the balustrade rises the Baroque bell tower erected in 1637, as mentioned above, due to the competition organized by Cardinal Barberini. A simple and elegant portal leads into the vast interior; it has a single nave covered by a barrel vault, supported by pillars against the walls. Of great interest is the main altar, baroque, with architecture and wooden sculptures, in which there is a valuable painting by Giacinto Boccanera Leonessa, dated 1723 and depicting the Madonna holding a monstrance of the Blessed Ruggero, St. Felix, St. Rita and St. Pius V. Upon entering, on the left wall, two large niches preserve the sixteenth century frescoes. In the first one a Crucifixion, in the second one a Enthroned Madonna and Child with St. Roch and St. Ambrose. Also interesting is a series of fifteenth century frescoes from Foligno school, depicting the Madonna and Child of excellent workmanship and another Madonna and Child with Saints. It also preserves a large cross of mother of pearl inlaid, some modest eighteenth-century paintings and a painting of 1957 with the Baptism of Christ. The church, as mentioned before, is named after the patron Felice, who lived and preached in his hometown at the time of the emperors Diocletian and Maximian. In order to crack down on the spread of Christianity, they sent the prefect in Martana Tarquinio, who found Felice and invited him to apostasy. Failing to convince him, he condemned him to be burned on the grill. But Felice came out unscathed from this ordeal and then was beheaded in the hole by the executioner Sevibo. At night the Christians stole the body of the martyr and buried him in the place where now the church dedicated to him rises up.