hermitage of Holy Spirit

The hermitage

The Eremo of Santo Spirito at Majella is surely the largest and most famous of the Majella hermitages. It is made up of a church, a sacristy, a guest house and a monastic complex (where the cells are located), the chapter room, the library, the winter chapel and the refectory. From the guest house you can go up the Scala Santa (Holy Stairs) to reach the oratory of the Maddalena and two fully covered balconies.

The eighteenth century portal, the statue of Saint Michael the Archangel and the tabernacle are the work of Giuseppe Di Bartolomeo di Roccamorice, and were made for the reopening of the church in 1894. Among the most valuable works are the wooden choir, some canvases depicting the Maddalena and the Descent of the Holy Spirit in the Cenacle and a statue of Christ. Under the church you can visit the cave where the first hermits lived, the room of the Crucifix and the central cell, the place chosen for prayer by Pope Celestine V.


The Eremo di Santo Spirito at Majella has very ancient origins. The first official documents date back to the 11th century when the hermitage became a possession of the Abbey of Montecassino. In the twelfth century, however, the hermitage fell into disuse. It was found destroyed by Pietro da Morrone, who then became Pope Celestine V, in 1246. It was the latter who began the renovation, with the realization of an oratory and a cell.

The high numbers of followers brought the necessity to expand the structure. When he founded his Congregation in 1263, Celestine V decided to set up here the mother-house of the order, while the church became a monastery.

The hermitage became an abbey complex that prospered throughout the 13th century. In the following years it fell into ruin, with various collapses and the use of the church as a shelter by shepherds and flocks.

In 1586 Pietro Cantucci from Manfredonia of the Celestine Order settled down and restructured it, building the Scala Santa. In the last years of the seventeenth century, Prince Caracciolo di San Buono added a three-storey building, which was thought to be a guest house.

After the suppression of the Celestine Order in 1807, the building was plundered and burnt down, and only at the end of the nineteenth century the restoration of the church took place thanks to the citizens of Roccamorice.

How to reach it

The hermitage is in the municipality of Roccamorice and can be reached by car. Follow the signs from the village to the Blockhaus. After a few kilometers you will find a junction on the right with the indications that will take you to the Eremo di Santo Spirito.

Google Maps

Coordinate: 42° 10′ 12.74″ N, 14° 5′ 24.57″ E

The hermitage is open only on summer weekends. For information contact the municipality of Roccamorice, tel. + 39 0858572132.

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