In 1738, by decree of Pope Clement XII, Ceratello was detached from the parish church of Qualino and San Giorgio (St. George) and assumed the title of parish church. A new church had already been built in 1737 to replace a smaller previous building.
The church of San Giorgio martire (St. George the Martyr) stands in a position overlooking the village, on the hill where a castle had stood in ancient times, and is accessed by an imposing set of steps, built between 1937 and 1939. The layout has some affinity with that of the churches of Flaccanico and Qualino. The exterior is of simple lines, with a vaulted portico on the façade, opening onto three arches supported by sandstone columns. The upper part, ending with a curved gable, is interspersed by two plastic ledges and regularly placed pilasters.
The interior has a single nave, interspersed by pilar strips, with a frieze and cornice on which the barrel vault is set. On the inside façade window there is a 1917 stained glass window depicting St. George. The figurative decoration of the vaults was performed in 1965 by the painter Angelo Bonfanti, author of the medallions with St. Peter and St. Paul and the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the nave and of the Blessed Sacrament, in the sanctuary.
There are two arches on each wall. To the left is the baptistery, with a 17th Century iron gate, followed down the aisle by the 19th-Century wooden pulpit. This leads to the chapel with the altar of Saints Anthony and Fermo, with black marble frontal and shelves and polychrome inlays and a medallion depicting St. Anthony Abbot. The Brescia area 18th-Century altarpiece depicts the Madonna and Child with Saints Anthony of Padua and Fermo. Fermo was invoked to protect agricultural activities, as shown by the naturalistic view and the presence of animals.
To the right, in the first bay, a niche contains the 20th Century statue of Our Lady of Sorrows. The organ is an instrument made by the Bossi company of the mid 19th Century. It is followed by the 18th Century altar complex of Our Lady of the Rosary; this was also the seat of the confraternity bearing the same name established on September 20, 1738. The frontal is composed of polychrome inlays and floral motifs, with the central image of Our Lady of the Rosary. The marble aedicula (small temple) with Cherubs and angels, dated 1745, by the workshop of Fantoni of Rovetta, now contains a relief by the sculptor Aurelio Bertoni depicting Motherhood (2009). For the altar Fantoni also realised later on, in 1783, a clothed statue of Our Lady of the Rosary. The 17th Century local area Mysteries of the Rosary can be seen on the walls. As mentioned in the archival documents, the devotion of the inhabitants of Ceratello to Our Lady is also linked to a votive offering by the community for protection against raids by foreign troops that the Virgin Mary had granted to the community in 1706 during the War of the Spanish Succession.
On either side of the sanctuary there are two 18th Century repositories for the holy oils in black marble and inlays. The high altar in polychrome marble provides Eucharistic worship symbols to the frontal and boasts a tribune with small columns and figures of Angels containing the tabernacle. On the back wall there is a magnificent mid 17th Century wooden cornice, much like that found in the Flaccanico church, with columns and broken gable; on the sides there are the statues of St. George and a Holy Pope. The painting of the Madonna and Child with Saints George and Roch, is a work of average skill from the Brescia area datable to the second half of the 16th Century.
For more information:
CAMPAGNONI M. A., Terra di confine: Costa Volpino, Bergamo 2011, pp. 335-338, 340-345, 347-348.
Cover photo credits: Linoolmostudio
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