Chapel San Bernardino Mesolcina Calanca

Cappella Madonna d'Aquate

This small chapel in the village of Lostallo hides an exciting story within itself. Struck by a serious illness, Giuseppe Jacomella, an emigrant from Alsace, made a vow: if he were cured, he would build a chapel in his native country. When it was heard, in 1704, Giuseppe Jacomella returned to Lostallo and had the building built.

Cappella Madonna d'Aquate

6558 Lostallo


In the chapel he placed wooden statues depicting Our Lady of Einsiedeln, St. Anthony and St. Joseph. The last two sculptures were stolen a few years ago. The chapel had through the years multiple functions; it served as a stopping point for the good Friday processions, Corpus Christi and rogations. On the occasion of some Marian feasts, Holy Mass was celebrated in the chapel. During periods of drought the Madonna was carried in procession to implore the rain and the origin of the name is thus explained: Cappella d'Aquate. It became a place of devotion for passers-by and for many people of the village, in particular, the elderly and a destination for walks as a sign of devotion, thanksgiving and prayer. The surroundings of the chapel also had special purposes.

The schoolchildren who, after school, had to take care of the livestock, found in those places the ideal place to build huts thus protecting themselves from the rain and to play with the Indians on sunny days. The "Schliffer" arrived without delay as soon as the San Bernardino pass was opened and stopped in the surroundings of the Chapel of Aquate. The place became a regular stop and so regularly attracted curious and boys, who were fascinated by that unusual hustle and bustle of people, animals, wagons and watched the expert carters as they discussed and traded with the gypsies about their horses.

After almost three hundred years the chapel is now co-owned by the many descendants of Giuseppe Jacomella, who, after having done some maintenance work and given the need for a mortuary, have decided to donate it to the Municipality to use it also for this purpose. The Municipal Assembly accepted the proposal. At the dawn of the third millennium this chapel, which in the future will also serve as a last earthly home, together with the banner kept in the church of San Giorgio and offered by the People of Salerno staying in Rome, will be a testimony of the faith of our ancestors. They left with great nostalgia and hope of making a fortune and being able to return home. Meditating on the lives of our ancestors perhaps helps us to better understand those who nowadays venture to our parts in search of an honest job. Both our people who had to leave at that time and these new emigrants would have liked then and would now appreciate a friendly face and a gesture of welcome.


Responsible for this content Ente Turistico Regionale del Moesano San Bernardino, Mesolcina, Calanca.
This content has been translated automatically.

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