The Shrine of the House of Saint Catherine

Confessional Chapel

Inaugurated in April 2006, this chapel is conceived as a space for celebrating the sacrament of Repentance, therefore silence and recollection prevail here. The plan by the Sienese architects Betti, Fineschi, and Lamoretti is based on the idea of the centrality of a luminous oculus of clear glass that sheds light on the room from above, just as the Grace of God is light that flows from His mercy granted in the sacrament.

To the right of the entrance is a holy water font by the artist Alberto Inglesi, rich in Christian symbolism: the ship represents the Church and the water in the font is a remembrance of baptism. The ship/Church moves on the waves of history; inside it, the living water of baptism and the Grace of Christ is offered.

The main wall of the room holds a fresco by the Sienese artist Ezio Pollai. In the center is the scene of Christ’s crucifixion, according to the symbolic reading of it given by the Gospel of Saint John: the inscription on the cross (in three languages: Hebrew, Greek, and Latin) attests that Christ died for all, addressing his message of love to all peoples and all cultures; Jesus’ bent head expresses his free will to adhere to the offering of love; the pose of the body joined to the cross does not symbolize the drama of the event so much as the regal enthronement of Christ. The cross, in John’s Gospel, is not a scaffold but a throne from . . .

  • Ezio Pollai, Christ's Crucifixion, 2006.