Cenni Storici

The first mention of a church dedicated to St. Agnello Abate dating back to 1308, the church was located in the resort “boxes S. Agnello” corresponding to ‘current Via Scipione Pozzi in town square. The news in question relate to the payment of tithes due to different local parishes and we find a mention of the church itself in a “Santa Visit” of 1561 in which it was reported the total state of disrepair and neglect. In 1750 after the collapse of the ceiling structure in town “Boxes”, the church was moved to Gargani at the existing parish of S. Maria delle Grazie, which is currently located in S. Agnello. In 1805 it was carried in procession from Naples the current statue of our dear Saint who was kindly donated by Mrs. Maria Montana in Lanza. The procession passed through many countries, upon arrival at the parish statue was welcomed by all the associations and parishioners in celebration. In 1904 he was inaugurated under the patronage of Sant’Agnello on the community. The present church was strongly supported by the parish priest Don Andrea Manzo who felt the need to build a new church can offer a greater hospitality to the many faithful who, year after year attending the patron. The decision was made in 1905 with the “Circle S. Lamb” and work began with the laying of the foundation stone in November 1907 and ended in 1914. In 1919, the parish priest, Father Domenico Taliento began the construction of a bell tower using such funds to the construction of the proceeds of the ordinary income and the immigrants offered in america. Meanwhile in 1921 the “Circle S. Lamb” is formed in association with the name of “Association of Sant ‘Agnello Abate” still exists. For the bell tower, and the funds were not enough to pay the debt with the construction company the same parish priest Fr Dominic Taliento agrees to pay the sum of the debt. In 1932, still remaining more money to be paid before the pastor commits and then sells definitely about 560 gr. of gold belonging to the patron saint. The bell tower was completed in 1936 and according to witnesses allegedly of ‘era, the parish priest lived until his death with a modest pension, since much of it was foreclosed for the extinction of the debt. For about 50 years we had no relevant information concerning the church. In 1985 he was re-established the ‘Association of Sant’ Agnello Abate behest of parish priest Don Luigi De Riggi, the first meeting was convened on December 14, 1985 with the delivery of membership cards. After about fifteen days the Association together with the parish priest decided to restore the church as this was damaged in several places by water penetration; the restoration work began in February 1986 and ended in May of the same year with the consecration of the main altar. In November 1986, the belfry was mechanized system were installed and the third and fourth bell, around the same time with the bishop’s decree officially becomes the parish Diocesan Shrine. Following the posting of a plaster of the ceiling in 1996, the church was declared unfit for use for which they were made several interventions for the safety. It was considered appropriate to replace the damaged ceiling framework representing the Saint with a new one entitled “The S.Agnello” glory that was installed with a solemn ceremony in 1997. In 2004 the Gargani community receives the visit of the Pilgrim Virgin of Fatima, this event was celebrated with a week of solemn masses and festivities in honor of Our Lady. In 2005, on the bicentennial of his arrival, the statue underwent restoration from which he returned with the old splendor. The return to parish was accompanied with a week of processions and festivities around the parish territory, in fact, every day was expected to stop the procession in a different location where he was also celebrated Mass, as if to trace the arrival of the statue of 1805.