Church of Monte Croce

Cerro Veronese
IT 37020 Cerro Veronese (VR)

The 'Chiesa sul Monte Croce' is one of the most distinctive buildings in Cerro Veronese, and the church has long been the symbol of the town itself. Monte Croce, as it has always been known by residents due to the fact that the modern-day church replaced a wooden cross previously on the site, also marked the boundary of the Thirteen Cimbrian Communities. The parish chronicles tell of how this place has always been considered sacred by locals.

One of the most distinctive buildings in Cerro Veronese is the church perched atop Monte della Croce, which has long been the symbol of Cerro itself along with the oak situated next to the parish church. This hill has always been referred to by residents as 'Monte della Croce' since the current church, dedicated to Christ the Redeemer, took the place of a wooden cross that previously marked the site. In fact, it has always been considered a practically sacred place by the locals, according to the parish chronicles. In the past it marked the boundary of 'Silva Alferia' (the ancient name for the area) and also of the Thirteen Cimbrian Communities, populations of German origin that settled in the Alta Lessinia region in the 1300s. In 1932, the town was hit by a drought that affected the finances of many families. At the time there was no aqueduct, and the population sourced water from natural springs and wells. Seeking to end the drought, the parish priest Don Antolini called for a procession on the Monte della Croce.

According to news reports, having reached the hill, a violent storm broke out while Mass was being held and the celebrant was forced to suspend the ceremony. Those in attendance hurried down the mountain and Mass continued in the parish church, where everyone regrouped, happy and grateful to God for his grace. In 1849, there was a cholera outbreak. In an attempt to bring an end to the disease, the parish priest at the time, Don Massella, vowed to build a chapel on the hill in honour of the 'Madonna dello Spasimo' (the Fainting Virgin Mary).

Construction of the current building began in 1900 in memory of the Holy Year, announced by Pope Leo XIII, and was completed while Don Silvio Padovani was the parish priest. Subsequent renovations took place in 1937 and 1964 with the restoration of a 17th-century painting depicting the Mysteries of the Rosary, the rebuilding of the central door in iron, and the addition of a gleaming cross on the dome. How to get there: The Cappella del Redentore is easy to get to by car: take the road that goes uphill behind the petrol station in Cerro Veronese all the way to the end. Follow the signs. The area around Monte della Croce is open to visitors; you can sit on the stone benches and admire the landscape of Lessinia looking towards the Veronese plain. The chapel is only open for religious celebrations: the Way of the Cross on Good Friday and the Masses on special occasions such as the Holy Year and the visit of the 'Pilgrim Virgin of Verona' are particularly impressive. Mass on the day before holidays at 8pm in July and August.

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