Friday’s Tall Tales #20

Whenever I photograph a door or gate I wonder about its provenance, who and what has happened across said door or gate. I thought I might pick one from #Thursdaydoors and tell you a bit more about it or……maybe even weave a story about it.

The Penitents refers to a Christian movement dating back to 4th century. During this time, those who confessed a grave sin were assigned a penance, a means by which the sin could be forgiven. This penance, assigned by a Bishop, could assume the form of repairing a church, helping the poor and sick, or performing a pilgrimage to a holy site.  During these moments of atonement, the penitents wore special-coloured robes in order to show their status as sinners. Later, some people voluntarily entered the brotherhoods of penitents, which became charitable associations that helped the most vulnerable.

Nice is home to four penitent churches which pursue to this day community-minded initiatives. The Penitents appeared in the city around 14th century and are considered among Nice’s oldest benevolent associations. According to ancient criteria, each church had a different mission and dress colour.

At the end of Cours Saleya in Nice’s Old Town is the sober,  tiny, neoclassical Sainte-Suaire Chapel. The name dates back to 16th century, when the church sheltered the Saint Suaire, or Shroud of Turin, for five years to hide it from invaders.

This modest building houses some remarkable works including the Holy Trinity painted by Barbéri. The Sainte-Suaire chapel is home to the Red Penitents, whose mission was to help abandoned children. To aid in this mission they ran an orphanage outside the church.

21 Comments on “Friday’s Tall Tales #20

  1. I’m so glad you selected this door, Sheree. It was a favorite of mine.
    Interesting about the penance in Nice. Very different than just being assigned prayers.

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: