A Jacobite Gazetteer - Italy

Naples


The city of Naples is located on the west coast of Italy, 185 kilometres south of the city of Rome.

In this city are buried the wife of King Charles IV and one of the daughters of King Victor.

· Chiesa di Santa Caterina a Chiaia

· Basilica di Santa Chiara


Facade of Santa Caterina a Chiaia
Facade of Santa Caterina a Chiaia

Chiesa di Santa Caterina a Chiaia

This church is located at Via Santa Caterina 76. King Charles Emanuel IV of Sardinia (later King Charles IV) and his wife Queen Marie Clotilde were in the habit of worshipping in this church when they lived in Naples from 1800 to 1802.1

On the right of the church, in the Cappella della Divina Pastora (Chapel of the Mother of the Good Shepherd), are preserved the mortal remains of the Venerable Queen Marie Clotilde of Sardinia (died 1802). The tomb bears a Latin inscription written by Count Francesco Morelli, of Asti:2

D. O. M.
MARIA ADELAIDA CLOTILDA XAVERIA BORBONIA
SARDINIÆ REGINA
CUJUS SANCTISSIMA PIETAS
INGENII DEXTERITAS CONSILII PROBITAS
MORUM SUAVITAS
ULTRA VOTUM STETERUNT
ALIORUM AMANTIOR QUAM SUI
EMENSIS UTRIUSQUE FORTUNÆ SPATIIS
ADVENTANTI FATO
INIMITABILI ANIMI ROBORE
OBVIAM PROCESSIT
REGNO ITALISQUE ORIS
CHRISTIANARUM VIRTUTUM SPECIMEN
EXTERA ETIAM ADMIRATIONE PRÆBENS
PRÆPOSTERO MORBO RAPTA
SUIS OMNIBUS EXAMNIMATIS
ÆTERNUM VICTURA PLACIDISSIME OBIIT
NEAPOLI NONIS MARTII ANNO CI>DCCCII
ÆTATIS SUÆ XLII MENSIBUS V DIEBUS XII
REX CAROLUS EMMANUEL IV
PIISSIMUS CONJUX
LUCTU CONCISUS
DIMIDIO SUI CURARUM LEVAMINE ORBATUS
AD UXORIAS CINERES HIC QUIESCENTES
M. P.

Tomb of Queen Clotilde
Tomb of Queen Marie Clotilde

At the Musée des Ursulines in Maçon there is a painting of the tomb by Jean-Pierre Franque. In 1818 the painting was acquired by Marie Clotilde's brother King Louis XVIII of France and placed in the royal collection at the Palais du Louvre. In 1873 it was transferred to Maçon.3

Painting of the Tomb of Queen Clotilde
Painting of the Tomb of Queen Marie Clotilde

An inscription to the right of the tomb records that in 1933 the chapel was restored by the Prince of Piedmont (later King Umberto II of Italy).4

On the wall facing the tomb is a white alabaster urn with grey handles containing the heart of Maria Teresa of Savoy, sister of King Charles IV and King Victor, and wife of the comte d'Artois (later King Charles X of France), brother of Queen Marie Clotilde.5 Maria Teresa died in Graz in 1805; in 1839 her son the duc d'Angoulême had her heart placed here next to the tomb of her dear friend and sister-in-law according to her wishes. On the vase is an inscription in French: "Ici est le coeur de Très haute, très illustre et très puissante Princesse Marie-Thérèse de Savoie, Comtesse d'Artois, morte á Graz le 2 juin 1805".6

Plaque of Queen Marie Clotilde
Sculpted Relief of Queen Marie Clotilde

In 2001 a sculpted relief of Queen Marie Clotilde was installed in the chapel.7 It was sculpted by Domenico Velletri and is made of "pietra di Lecce", a type of limestone from Puglia in southern Italy.

In the sacristy are preserved several items connected with King Charles IV and Queen Marie Clotilde.8 Among these is Charles' death mask.

Every year on March 7 (the anniversary of Queen Marie Clotilde's death) there is a solemn commemmoration including mass. This is preceded by a triduum with vespers on March 4, 5, and 6.9 In 2012, Prince Serge of Yugoslavia, second cousin of King Francis II, was present for the occasion.10

Church website: www.santacaterinachiaia.it. Telephone: 081 41 39 24.

Notes

1 Luigi Bottiglia, Vie de la vénérable servante de Dieu, Marie-Clotilde-Adélaid-Xavier de France, Reine de Sardaigne, translated by J. B. Idt (Lyon: Rusand, 1823): 183.

2 François-Charles Uginet, "Portrait d'une reine: Un tableau de Bernardino Nocchi à l'abbaye de Hautecombe (Savoie)", Alla signorina: mélanges offerts à Noëlle de La Blanchardière. Collection de l'École française de Rome, 204 (Rome: École française de Rome, 1995), 385.

3Joconde: Catalogue des Collections des Musées de France. Jean-Pierre Francou (called Franque) was born at Buis-les-Baronnies in 1774 and died at Quintigny in 1860.

4 Uginet, 384. Among other things, Umberto placed two votive lights in the chapel.

5 Uginet, 384. Maria Teresa was the grandmother of the duc de Bourdeaux who married Princess Maria Beatrice, sister of King Francis I.

6 "Maria Teresa di Savoia", Tricolore 106 (31 gennaio 2006): 43.

7 "Velletri (Domenico), Pittore, Scultore", http://www.velletridomenico.it/sculture.php. The plaque measures 100 cm wide and 140 cm high.

8 Uginet, 385.

9 "Santa Caterina a Chiaia, Sezione Attività", http://www.santacaterinachiaia.it/attivita.asp.

19 Sacro Militare Ordine Constantiano di San Giorgio, Delegazione di Napoli e Campania, "7 marzo 2012, con Sergio di Jugoslavia".

Image 1 (Facade of Santa Caterina a Chiaia): http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Caterina2.jpg.

Image 2 (Tomb of Queen Marie Clotilde): http://www.costantinianocampania.it/blog/7-marzo-2012-con-sergio-di-jugoslavia/.

Image 3 (Painting of the Tomb of Queen Marie Clotilde): Joconde: Catalogue des Collections des Musées de France.

Image 4 (Sculpted Relief of Queen Marie Clotilde): "Velletri (Domenico), Pittore, Scultore".


Basilica di Santa Chiara

Facade of the Basilica di Santa Chiara
Facade of the Basilica di Santa Chiara

This church is located on Via Benedetto Croce.

In the Cappella di San Tommaso Apostolo (the chapel closest to the high altar on the right side of the church) are preserved the mortal remains of many members of the Royal Family of the Two Sicilies. The chapel preserves its baroque decoration unlike the rest of the church which was severely damaged by bombing in 1943.

Cappella di San Tommaso Apostolo
Cappella di San Tommaso Apostolo

On the right side of the chapel is the sarcophagus of Blessed Queen Maria Cristina of the Two Sicilies, daughter of King Victor. She was buried here, February 8, 1836, eight days after her death.1

Tomb of Queen Maria Cristina of the Two Sicilies
Tomb of Queen Maria Cristina of the Two Sicilies

The tomb is marked by the following Latin inscription:2

HIC JACET CORPUS SERVAE DEI
MARIA CHRISTINAE A SABAUDIA
UTRIUSQUE SICILIAE REGINA
RECOGNITUM AB E.MO AC R.MO
D. XISTO S.R.E. CARD. ARCHIEP. NEAP.
QUI ANNUNENTE APOSTOLICO NUNCIO
AD HANC ECCLESIAM ACCESSIT
DIE 31 JANUARII 1853.

Here lies the body of the Servant of God
Maria Christina of Savoy,
Queen of the Two Sicilies,
examined by the Most Eminent and Most Reverend
Lord Sisto, Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church, Archbishop of Naples,
who, assenting as Apostolic Nuncio,
came to this church,
January 31, 1853.

The inscription refers to the 1853 visit by Cardinal Sisto Riario Sforza, who was investigating Maria Cristina's sanctity.3 On May 6, 1937, Pope Pius XI issued a decree on her virtues, thus declaring her Venerable, the first step towards canonization. She was beatified on January 25, 2014.

Notes

1 The ceremony is described in Diario dei Cerimonieri della Cattedrale di Napoli, volume XX (1825-1846), f. 35v, in the Archivio Storico Diocesano di Napoli.

2 Luciana Regolo, La Reginella Santa: Tutto il racconto della vita di Maria Cristina di Savoia, sovrana delle Due Sicilie (Milano: Simonelli, 2000), 7.

3 Cf. Regolo, 435-436.

Image 1 (Facade of the Basilica di Santa Chiara): http://napolielacampania.wordpress.com/category/arte/.

Image 2 (Cappella di San Tommaso Apostolo): Gaudenzio Dell'Aja, Il Pantheon dei Borboni in Santa Chiara di Napoli (Naples: Giannini, 1987), 24.

Image 3 (Tomb of Queen Maria Cristina of the Two Sicilies): "Omaggio alla Venerabile Maria Cristina di Savoia".


This page is maintained by Noel S. McFerran (noel.mcferran@rogers.com) and was last updated September 21, 2014.
© Noel S. McFerran 2003-2014.