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The church of San Francesco in the nineteenth century has witnessed the flourish in Turin of the social doctrine of the church, worked here and made their carriers in the world’s two great witnesses of these social needs Christian: St. John Bosco and St. Joseph Cafasso.
Here he was educated and celebrated his first Mass St. John Bosco and here he began his first oratory with street children, encouraged by St. Cafasso, his confessor.
The latter was the rector of this church for many years and died here in 1860
San Cafasso was popular in Turin in particular for the help offered to prisoners, also with moral support and
economic their families. It was called “the gallows priest” because often it appeared executions following the condemned man to the scaffold to embrace him and make him feel loved
According to an established tradition, the Church of the Minor Franciscans was founded by Francis himself, passing through Turin in 1214:
… St. Francis of Assisi coming …. to go to France came from Chieri …. then went to Turin, where he began as a small clique …. .that he was bestowed by the city … (as says Ferrero Lauriano in 1712 to explain the origins of the church, formerly known to turrinum, because of its proximity to the municipal tower)
Although not directly to the Saint of Assisi, it certainly dates back to the thirteenth century, in fact traces of brick walls and windows are still in the medieval bell tower.
The church was rebuilt in the Gothic style in the fourteenth century and became very important in the life of the city especially for its location in the city center and close to the “Contrada della Dora Grossa” the current Via Garibaldi.
It was very strong bond between the Franciscans and the municipality, which is manifested especially in the case of cash and the municipal archives at the hands of monks.
In 500 was the home of the Holy Shroud, transferred by the dukes of Savoy from Chambery to Turin, along with the movement of their capital. The church entrusted to the Friars Minor Conventual underwent a gradual decline, so
In 1608 he began the reconstruction of the church and the adjacent convent; chapels in the aisles were decorated and embellished by noble families and rich corporations (master Lugano, apothecaries, tailors, …) which had bought to celebrate the feasts of patron saints and to get you the right to burial.
In 1761, as stated on the banner’s rebuilt by the architect Bernardo Vittone Turin that gave the church its present appearance late eighteenth century
The classical facade is to order only on the model of Roman temples.
Vittone chose this solution because, as he says, the church was located on a street
rather narrow and for the need to provide all the light possible.
The masonry wall is lightened and moved by elegant portals and the large windows that are above them.
Above the side doors are the busts of St. Francis of Assisi and St. Anthony of Padua. The Baroque bell tower has three floors with a belfry and buffered single windows.



The interior of the church has three naves with cross vaults. The nave, wider and raised, has a rich stucco decoration white and gold with nineteenth century paintings depicting the Litany of the Virgin.
The interior is illuminated by large oval windows open above the arches.
The overall impression is a mix of overlapping of styles, the result of ongoing renovations and upgrades over the centuries, but it gives a sense of warm welcome.
Leaning against the counter with the Cantoira the organ in gilded carvings of the early nineteenth century, supported by the late eighteenth-century confessional.
Bourgois Vittone are the various confessional Baroque of the second half of the eighteenth century Piedmontese type characterized by curved faces. Some are topped by two angels holding a shield with the emblem of the Franciscan arms crossed.
The beautiful pulpit with canopy and finely carved panels is supported by a confessional.
Even Cardinal Roncalli, then Patriarch of Venice and future 261 ° Pope, now a saint, preached from this pulpit.
On your left you can see the confessional of St. Cafasso, the confessor and spiritual director of Don Bosco.
The six chapels in the right aisle, all with vaulted ceilings with skylights in the middle rounds, precious works made by artists from Turin. “;



This is one of the oldest chapel and maintains the original footprint of the early seventeenth century. It has a simple marble altar with straight entablature and frontal marble carved with simple geometric designs.
This is the chapel of the College of causidici and prosecutors, owners from 1506.
The paintings on the walls, commissioned by the Board, John Molineri represent the Visitation and the Madonna
the Rosary.
The paintings of the patron saints of the eighteenth century, originally in the chapel, are now in the sacristy.



This chapel is one of the most beautiful and valuable of the Church.
As you say the inscription on the chapel was built in 1636 and embellished by the governor of Ivrea in the second half of the eighteenth century.
Eighteenth-century polychrome marble altar designed by Vittone stands one of the slender wooden crucifixes carved by Charles Lugano Plura. And ‘the Christus patiens. Christ is caught in his last moment of life with her face turned upward to implore God father and begins the words of the psalm: ‘My God, My God why have you forsaken me?’. The Lord’s body was carved with admirable realism, Christ is not dead, the eyes are narrowed and the muscles are tense because still vital. The Plura shows his mastery in creating the male anatomy; the feet are not overlapping, as custom, but paired. And ‘this a work of great formal scope, aimed at creating a participation of the faithful to the Lord’s Passion, according also to the Franciscan spirituality. Another crucifix Plura, but less emotional involvement, is located in the Royal Chapel above the tabernacle of Piffetti.
The two white angels kneeling on the entablature are among the best examples of Turin Stefano Clemente.
Vittone is also the elegant baroque design of inferiata between bulging pillars of purple breccia, less noble material of marble.



The chapel is full of marble and on top of the altar a chorus of angels with white dove between mystical clouds and golden rays, typically baroque.
The canvas with the two titular saints at the foot of the Madonna is very damaged and is signed by Mary Isabella Dal Pozzo, who worked at the service of the Princess Louise of Savoy and later to Monaco of Bavaria to the court of Adelaide of Savoy and his son Maximilian II .



The chapel is the widest and deepest of the other as if to form the arm of a transept, revisited later in the eighteenth century and nineteenth century.
The Fellowship of the Conception erected in 1704 by the marble altar, but was rebuilt in 1780, as stated in the inscription at the center of the entablature
The monumental marble altar red and blacks is adorned with statues of the Immaculate and of the prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah, and is crowned by a spectacular wooden group lacquered in white with the Trinity in glory among the angels, by the sculptor Piedmont Giovan Battista Bernero.
On the walls two paintings of Louis Molineris dated late nineteenth century with the apparitions of Lourdes and the definition of the dogma.


The company of Sarti, one of the first guilds constituted at the time of Charles Emmanuel I met in San Francisco at the start of the seventeenth century. Turned-University, in the Latin of congragazione, he commissioned the architect Luigi Barberis, a pupil of Benedetto Alfieri, to build the current chapel.
Under the altar it depicts an episode of alms to beggars of Holy Bohemian painter Mayerle. Two beautiful paintings on the walls of Cuneo Alessandro Throne with the miracles of the saint and two ovals with Stories of St. Francis of Ignatius Nepos.
In the chapel houses a relic of the saint, as evidenced by the stone placed on the floor. The chapel still belongs to the Congregation of Sarti.


The magnificent major altar in polychrome marble, designed by Vittone, is a Roman altar with shelves for the candlesticks, similar to the one planned for the nearby Church of St. Rocco. The altar has a slightly curved table supported in the center by an urn with metal grid, where was placed the relic of St. Innocent transferred from the catacombs and given as a gift to the future Pope Clement XIV, Franciscan.
The solemn feasts a frontal covers the altar in gilded wood. The frontal, in the sacristy, is the work of the engraver Bonzanigo reproducing Saint Francis when receiving the stigmata.
Beside the altar are the two great figures of angels in white marble, probably the work of the school of Clement.
The presbytery is square with a large dome on a circular base. Light enters from cupolotto and through the open windows by Vittone. In the sides of the dome and the spandrels putti and cherubs painted by Milocco.
Curious the effect of clouds covered partially with stucco.
Rise to the seventeenth-century church are the paintings on the walls, attributed to Recchi, painter Como. They are the test of fire of St. Francis before the Sultan of Egypt and iI Baptism of Soldano.
The ovals of the walls of the choir are still Milocco well as the fresco on the ceiling.



To the left of the presbytery the Chapel of St. Peter beneath the bell tower he was under the patronage of the University of Serraglieri or master blacksmiths. In the chapel early works of Beaumont. It is said that on the occasion of the patron, The University of Serraglieri was distributed in the city in 1400 michette bread.



In the left aisle opposite the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception, it is the chapel of Don Bosco, originally dedicated to the Guardian Angel as painted above the altar. The chapel was under the patronage of the family Turinetti. In this chapel Don Bosco celebrated his first Mass with St. Cafasso.



The threshold chapel of Saint Lucia, the Chapel of St. Anthony has two beautiful angels holding the frame above the altar. Note the elegant workmanship by Clement.



The transfer of the capital of the Duchy of Savoy from Chambéry to Turin in 1563 gave the start to many construction sites for building and urban renewal of the city. The presence of stable work in Piedmont called skilled workers in the construction and plastic decoration (marble and stucco) and painting of churches and palaces. These artists and craftsmen came specifically from the territories next to Lake Lugano and were organized in small family businesses that seasonally arrived in Turin. The firm link of this community with the Savoy capital was established, in 1636, with the construction of the chapel dedicated to St. Anne, was the seat of their namesake corporation craft.
The important association, existing at the time of Emanuele Filiberto with the name of the Society of St. Anne, were part master builders, stonecutters, builders, architects, plasterers and painters. After the suppression of the University of arts and crafts time by Carlo Alberto in 1844 also that of master Lugano turned into mutual aid societies. The work was finished in the chapel at the beginning of 1637 and the summer of that year the plastic artist Alessandro Box Carona he performed a first stucco decoration then enriched by the work of Francesco Bettino (1713) and Giovanni Battista Sanbartolomeo (1762).
A few years later, as we read in the minutes of the Society, in 1658, another member of the family box, Giovanni Andrea, worked on the frescoes, later replaced during the nineteenth century restoration.
Only the seventeenth-century figure of the father blessing the center of the dome seems to be still the box. These worked with Recchi, the Dauphin and Caravoglia in Palazo Real, Valentino and appears in the City Palace.
The altarpiece is attributed to Federico Zuccari and represents the Madonna and Child with Saint Anne.



The first chapel on the left is dedicated to St. Cafasso, rector of the Church who died here in 1860. The chapel was in 1638 under the patronage of the College of apothecaries, formed in Turin in the second half of the sixteenth century.
The altar was executed on the design of Martinez, nephew of Juvarra, with two angels in marbled wood
of Clement. The actual painting of Cafasso was placed during the beatification to replace the seventeenth century depicting saints Cosmas and Damian, patrons apothecaries.



Among the chapel of the master and the apothecaries column of the nave a delicate image
the Madonna and Child, the only evidence of the Gothic decoration of the church. This Madonna is said by Rondolino Madonna midnight, referring to a likely altar of Our Lady of Midnight mentioned guide to an apostolic visit in 1584.


In the Sacristy are preserved the paintings of St. Filogamo and sant’Aratore from the chapel of the Annunciation and the frontal.
Here came the historic meeting between Don Bosco and the first boy of his Oratory, Bartolomeo Garelli. He tore it from the hands of a sacristan who was beating him and invited him to hear his Mass. Then he gave him a small box, and the Oratory began with a brief catechism.

In his memoirs Don Bosco refers to this first meeting as follows:
My dear friend, what’s your name? – Bartolomeo Garelli.
Where are you from? – Of Asti.
And live your dad? – No, he died.
And your mom? – She’s dead.
How old are you? – If you say.
Can you read and write? – I know nothing.
You have made their First Communion? – Not yet.
And you’ve already confessed? – Yes, but when I was little.
And go to the catechism? – I do not dare.
Why? – For younger children able to answer the questions, and I are so great that I know nothing. I shame.
If you did a catechism aside, would you come to listen to him? – Very happy.
Even in this place? – As long as I do not take a beating.
Do not worry, no one will mistreat. In fact, now you’re my friend, and will respect you. When you want to begin our catechism? – When she wants.
Tonight? – All right.
Even now? – With pleasure.
I got up and made the sign of the Holy Cross to begin. I noticed, however, that Bartholomew did not, did not remember how he had to. In that first catechism lesson taught him to make the sign of the Cross, I spoke of the Creator God and why God created us.

The sacristy is visible the “choir” where Don Bosco made his first catechism to children, and next door is the small courtyard where the young men made the first tentative strokes, or warming themselves in the sun together with Don Bosco. “;