Michael the Archangel is mentioned five times in Holy Scripture, in particular, in the book of Daniel, he portrayed as the supreme ruler of the heavenly army and warrior against the enemies of the Church, whilst in the book of Revelation, Michael is prince of the angels faithful to God; he fights and defeats the dragon (Satan) and the rebel angels.
The defining characteristic element of the Sacra di San Michele is its position on the top of Mount Pirchiriano, a rocky spur belonging to the group of Rocciavré in the Cottian Alps (altitude 962 meters). Pirchiriano is the very ancient name of the mountain; an elegant form of the word “Porcarianus” or “mountain of Pigs”, and thematically linked to the neighbouring peaks “Caprasio”, or “mountain of Goats”, and “Musinè” or “mountain of Donkeys”.
After six hundred years of Benedictine life, the Sacra remained almost abandoned for over two centuries! In 1836 King Charles Albert of Savoy was seeking to install a stable religious congregation, in his desire for the rehabilitation of the monument which had been the jewel of both the Piedmont Church and of his family. He offered the work to Antonio Rosmini, the young founder of the Institute of Charity, who accepted it, finding the task consistent with the spirit of his congregation.
In recent years the Sacra has received special generous attention, and support from public and private institutions. Government agencies have always played their part in the conservation and enhancement of the monument throught conducting specific studies, and above all by scheduling and providing the necessary restoration work via appropriate State bodies.
At the entry to the Sacra, you stand in front of the Sepolcro dei Monaci of the Sacra di San Michele. This is an ancient temple, believed to be a cemetery chapel, which was more likely the reproduction of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, almost a foretaste of the Jerusalem church for pilgrims. The construction, purely Christian, dates back to the 10th century. This church, still intact in 1621 and dedicated to Saint Stephen, began to collapse in 1661, until it very quickly became a ruin.
Today, it contains ten of the sixteen stone sarcophagi entombing the bodies of the princes of the Royal House of Savoy, brought from the Cathedral of Turin on 25 October 1836, when King Carlo Alberto entrusted them to the custodianship of the Rosminian religious, together with the whole abbey.
Cuore antichissimo, mente moderna e lo sguardo sempre rivolto al futuro: la Sacra di San Michele rende fruibile la sua storia millenaria anche attraverso le più recenti
Una serie di pannelli posizionati lungo il percorso fornisce ai visitatori della Sacra dettagli e informazioni utili sull’abbazia e i suoi punti d’interesse, con la possibilità di approfondirli attraverso il sistema QR code.
Per visualizzare i contenuti, è sufficiente scansionare il codice con il proprio smartphone o tablet.