Key to Umbria: Città di Castello

Chiesa del Seminario (1752)

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The Blessed Giovanni Colombini da Siena established a community of Gesuati friars at Città di Castello in 1365.  They originally lived near the Franciscan Eremo di Buonriposo on Monte Citerone, some 5 km from the city.  There was continual tension between the two communities until 1415, when the Commune intervened by financing the move of the Gesuati into the city, leaving the locality to the Franciscans.  (For their later history in Città di Castello, see the page of San Giovanni Battista).

The Gesuati then established a convent on this site just inside Porta di Sant’ Andrea.  Bishop Giulio Vitelli arranged for the rebuilding of their church of San Girolamo in 1503.

Pope Innocent X abolished the convent in Città di Castello and moved the friars there to Rome in 1653.  (The order was finally suppressed in 1668.)

Episcopal Seminary

The episcopal seminary was instituted here in 1658. 

In 1683, Bishop Giuseppe Sebastiani formally recognised the relics of St Ventura at San Bartolomeo at Centoia, near Valdipetrina and transferred to a gilded wooden coffin donated by Filippo Bufalini.  They were then translated to what was now the Chiesa del Seminario, where they offered a good example of priesthood to the students: St Ventura had been the priest at San Bartolomeo until his martyrdom in ca. 1250.

Bishop Giovanni Battista Lattanzi rebuilt the Chiesa del Seminario in 1752 and dedicated to the Immaculate Conception and SS Floridus and Ventura. 

In 1952, Bishop Filippo Maria Cipriani transferred the relics of St Ventura to a new coffin that remains in the church.

Interior of the Church

Relics of St Ventura


The relics of St Ventura are reserved under the high altar.  The front panel of the coffin, which can be detached to reveal the relics, carries an inscription that records their translation to the church in 1683.

Martyrdom of St Ventura (17th century)

This panel, which was designed by Giovanni Ventura Borghesi and executed by Simone Nelli di Citerna, is on the high altar.

Art from the Complex

Madonna and Child with Saints (1492)

This panel, which is signed by Giovanni Battista da Città di Castello and dated by inscription, came from the church of San Girolamo, which (as noted above) belonged to the Gesuati.  It remained in situ when the church itself was transferred to the Episcopal Seminary in 1752.  It is now in the Museo del Duomo.

The panel depicts the Madonna and Child with SS John the Baptist and Jerome.  The kneeling figure in white is probably the Blessed Giovanni Colombini da Siena, who founded  the Gesuati’s convent in Città di Castello in 1365. 

The predella panels depict:

  1. St Jerome removing a thorn from a lion’s paw;

  2. the Nativity; and

  3. St Jerome meditating on a Crucifix.

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