If you come to Sicily, do not miss visiting the Church of Santa Chiara in Enna. It has a long history.
For two centuries, it has been the chapel of a Jesuit monastery. After the Jesuits left, above all for political reasons, the cloistered Sisters of Santa Chiara took over, and then they too left, this time because of lack of vocations. After the end of World War II, the chapel was converted into a shrine of fallen soldiers. The altars and the holy statues and pictures were removed. In the walls were placed burial niches where the bodies of the soldiers who died in the war are still kept.
What makes the Church of Santa Chiara unique is the fact that the citizens of Enna placed in the niches not only the bodies of the Italian soldiers, but also those of the foreign soldiers: Germans, British, Americans, and Canadians. who died near Enna.
On one of the walls, there are tombstones that read IGNOTO (UNKNOWN). This is because the people of Enna at that time found it difficult to read and then transcribe the names in the identity tags of the foreign soldiers. They buried them in the church in the same way as they had done with the Italians.
While visiting the Church of Santa Chiara my thoughts went to the war in Ukraine. How many young soldiers on both sides are dying without knowing why! I hope that someday the world will change and no more young soldiers will die for nothing!
Ettore Grillo, author of these books:
– November 2: The Day of the Dead in Sicily
– A Hidden Sicilian History
– The Vibrations of Words
– Travels of the Mind