After centuries of waiting, San Francesco del Prato di Parma is preparing to officially inaugurate on Sunday 3 October 2021, the beginning of his new life. After 700 actual days of construction, interrupted only by the Verdi Festival and the stoppages due to the pandemic, the church, recovered and restored thanks to a great collective work, which also included the jump of two seismic classes, returns to the city and to worship. The coordination of the recovery project is by the architect Giorgio Della Longa.
The previous day, Saturday 2 October, a prayer vigil will be held by the Gregorian Schola, offering an hour of spirituality in the sign of the musical tradition of the Roman Rite and Western culture.
The moment of the highly anticipated return of the church to the city of Parma, the Italian Capital of Culture 2020 + 21 will take place on Sunday 3 October, at 10 am. The dedication will be the highlight of a multi-faceted event. Last but not least, the spiritual, spectacular and musical ones, embodied by the inaugural concert, at 6:30 pm, of “I Musici di Parma”, based on compositions by JS Bach, with the extraordinary participation of musicians such as Marco Zoni (first flute of the Scala ), Christoph Hartmann (Berliner oboe), Francesco Tagliavini (La Scala violinist). Free admission with reservations required by sending an email by 30 September to [email protected]
At 9 pm the Transit of San Francesco will take place. Presided over by Mons. Enrico Solmi, Bishop of Parma, preaches Fra ‘Riccardo Barile, OP, with the presence of the Franciscan Families of Parma. A special 3D sound and image show with the story of San Francesco del Prato, created by the Areaitalia agency, it will be screened on 3 and 4 October on the facade of the church. Everyone can participate, admiring the vidomapping from the square in front.
The conferment by the University of Parma, on Monday 4 October, of the Honoris Causa Master’s Degree in International and European Relations to the President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella, adds a further element of prestige and solemnity to the celebrations of the rededication, a unique occasion, which combines liturgy and culture and which sees St. Francis providing an exceptional backdrop to a ceremony of great value. Admission by invitation.
Promoted by the Committee for San Francesco del Prato, the construction site of the church it was managed and directed by the project manager Francesco Saverio Borrini and by the administrative manager Luigi Olivieri. The recovery of the church is achieved thanks to the contribution of the main donor Fondazione Cariparma, with the patronage and support of the Municipality of Parma, Parma Capital of Culture 2020 + 2021, Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities, Emilia Romagna Region, Diocese of Parma and Frati Minori Conventuali, the institutional partnership of the University of Parma and Teatro Regio, the patronage and support of the Alberto Chiesi Family, Crédit Agricole Italia, Barilla, SCIC Italia, FAAC, XLite, and the technical sponsors: Areaitalia communication agency, Centro Grafica, DS De Simoni, LEN, Metalbox, MacroCoop, Mediagroup98 and Top Service.
“San Francesco del Prato has represented in recent years the symbol of a common thought and commitment – explains Michele Guerra, councilor for culture of the municipality of Parma – which saw the city tighten around a church that bore the sign of a wounded spirituality, literally hidden under the layers of time and other uses. An undertaking considered impossible for a long time is now here, carried out before our eyes and inaugurates a few days after the 800th anniversary of the birth of Fra ‘Salimbene de Adam, whose figure is inextricably linked to San Francesco del Prato ”.