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San Bartolomeo Apostolo, Gambatesa

Church of San Bartolomeo Apostolo, Gambatesa, circa 1960, 39 KB

An old postcard photograph (circa 1960) of the main altar of Gambatesa's parish church of San Bartolomeo Apostolo ("Saint Bartholomew the Apostle"), in the diocese of Benevento, the church where everyone who lived in the village was baptized, married (or at least had their marriage banns read), and had their burial services said.

The pastor (arciprete) of this church recorded all of Gambatesa's vital records in his parish register.  Before 1909, when civil registration was instituted by the Napoleonic government, the parish registers are the only source for births (baptisms), marriages and deaths in Gambatesa.  Gambatesa's parish records date from the early decades of the 1700s.

[Photograph of the exterior of the Church of San Bartolomeo (look for the bell tower and the butresses on the far left); the entrance to the church is to the left of the bell tower; (the square in front of the church is very small).]

The statue on the large back-draped altar (on the viewer's left) of the Virgin and Child is "Our Lady of Victory".  A small prayer card (See photograph below), which like the above postcard belonged to Nunziata DiRenzo (1897-1983), shows this image with the caption Maria SS. della Vittoria che si venera in Gambatesa (Molise) (Mary Most-Holy of the Victory, who is venerated in Gambatesa).  (The prayer card was printed in Modena circa 1957; there is nothing printed on the back of the postcard.)

In 1572 Pope Pius V decreed that an annual commemoration be made of the Battle of Lepanto, the sea victory over the Moslem Turks of 7 October 1571.

Prayer-card: statue of Our Lady of Victory, circa 1957, 7 KB

Saint Bartholomew the Apostle's day is August 24th or 25th.

There is another postcard photograph of the interior of San Bartolomeo Apostolo from about 1960.  The interior of the church is very different now, that is, following the Second Vatican Council and then Pope Paul VI.  The altar that used to be against the back wall of the apse had to moved away from the wall in order to celebrate Mass the new way.  And the saint's statue was removed from the niche above the altar and replaced by a large crucifix.  The pulpit doesn't exist anymore, having been entirely removed.  The hanging candelabra are gone.  And all decorative art work on the columns and walls has been covered over with yellow and white paint, in the same way that the cobble stones that paved the streets of the village have been covered over with asphalt.  It is a different church, and Gambatesa is a different village from what it was forty years ago.

Interior of the Church of San Bartolomeo Apostolo, Gambatesa, August 2001, 25 KB

Inside the church are preserved the remains of a Latin-language stone tablet in which the years 1696 and 1703 are mentioned.

Photograph by Angelo Abiuso (Geneva), August 2001.  The colorful statue of Our Lady of Victory is on the (viewer's) right side of the main altar.

The URL of this Web page: https://www.roangelo.net/valente/apostolo.html
Last revised: 4 March 2007 : 2007-03-04 by Robert [Wesley] Angelo.

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