Museo della Casa Madre is a museum operated by the Franciscan Missionary Nuns of the Sacred Heart in Gemona, a true gem of art and devotion.
The congregation of the missionary nuns of the Sacred Heart was founded by Duchess Laura Leroux De Bauffremont and Franciscan friar Father Gregorio Fioravanti. The institution was established to educate girls from poor families and support missions. Being particularly devoted to Saint Anthony, Father Gregorio suggested founding the institution in Gemona, home to a sanctuary dedicated to the miracle-working saint (see the Sanctuary of Saint Anthony in Gemona).
The Museum occupies a portion of the former convent of Saint Claire, which was shut down by Napoleon in 1810. The Museum itinerary is divided into a number of sections representing the basic stages in the history of the convent and the daily lives of the nuns. The focus of the museum installation is an image of the convent before the 1976 earthquake.
The Museum of the Franciscan nuns of the Sacred heart, a witness to their faith, art and everyday life
The Museum contains exhibition spaces featuring items testifying to the daily life and, above all, the profound faith and missionary commitment of Father Gregorio.
Visitors begin by observing the precious materials that belonged to the order of the nuns of Saint Claire, above all an icon of the Mater Admirabilis. The next room is dedicated to the founder of the order, Mother Giuseppa di Gesù, and contains portraits of her family, documents recalling her important meeting with Father Gregorio and documentation of her interior struggle and need to find answers to the great questions of existence through religion.
The three Halls in the Museum: don’t miss the wooden Crucifix, books, objects and testimony of the two world wars
The first room exhibits a part of the woodwork that once decorated a number of rooms in the old convent. In the middle of the room are a number of objects of considerable importance dating back to the origins of the congregation: a wooden crucifix and a little statue of the Virgin, along with some drawings of the plans for the convent, most likely prepared on the basis of its founder’s instructions.
The second room exhibits the registers, books of purchases made, and the cilices and rosaries of the “original” nuns.
The third room recalls the experience of the boarding school in Gemona and the American and Oriental mission schools. It also contains the nuns’ testimony of the two world wars, and public acknowledgements they have received over the years.
Ramp for accessing the building, which is built on a single level, raised above street level | Guided tour itineraries for visitors with motorial disabilities | Accessible for the hearing impaired and persons with motorial and mental disabilities | Partially accessible for the visually impaired