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The Congregation of the Artisans, under the title of the Purification of the Virgin, was founded in 1587 in an oratory that already existed to the left of the Casa Professa, and moved to the present one, inside the same convent, in 1686. The “Company of the Immaculate Conception and of St. Francis Borgia”, already founded by the Jesuits in 1646, took possession of this oratory.
With the expulsion of the Jesuits in 1775, the oratory passed to the Deputation of the Senate Library, and then, on the return of the Jesuits, to the Congregation of the Cross and Martyrdom of Christ known as the Saturday Oratory which had been founded in 1626 in the Convent of St. Nicholas of Tolentino, under the title of Conversion of sinners, and met on Saturdays in the Church of Santa Maria della Grazia dei Notai, annexed to the aforementioned convent.
In the oratory, in addition to magnificent stucco statues representing virtues attributed to Procopio Serpotta (late seventeenth-early eighteenth century), the ceiling features The Coronation of the Virgin, attributed to Filippo Randazzo (1692-1744). The exedra-shaped presbytery is bordered by a recently made balustrade, while on the altar an image of the Virgin and a magnificent wooden crucifix from the early seventeenth century are placed on a painted wooden dossal flanked by two stucco angels of Serpottian manufacture. The frescoes in the oratory represent Saints, Prophets and Patriarchs and are of good quality.
Visits are allowed to scholars and groups, but it is advisable to call and make an appointment.
For the visit, contact 091 33 22 13 or visit the website www.casaprofessa.com