Santiponce Itálica

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Shrine to the Dulce Nombre de Jesús y Santa Misericordia

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During the Muslim period, the Shrine was a mosque located in the highest part of the town and oriented towards the Mecca. It was customary for churches to be built over former mosques. The present temple dates back to the 16th century and originally consisted of a single nave. Another nave was later built on the Epistle side of the Shrine.

The Shrine to the Misericordia is located in the Plaza de la Misericordia, very close to the Our Lady of the Assumption Parish Church. The guest books show that it was used as a charity hospital for some time, probably by a Confraternity.

It has a brick entrance topped with a decorative bell gable with a tile rosette. 

The central nave has a gabled wood-beam ceiling, and the side chapels’ are single sloped. The Mudejar-style entrance stands out. The oculus, made of brick framed by blue, white and hazel-coloured tiles, is very characteristic. The bell gable has a semi-circular arch with an alfiz -combining Renaissance avant-garde and Moorish styles- topped with a mixtilinear pediment and a wrought-iron weather vane. There is an image of Our Lady of Mercy on the entrance; hence, the name of the Shrine.

Several paintings of little merit can be found in the chancel. The 18th-century altarpiece presided over by a Chid Jesus (Sevillian School) and a painting of Our Lady of Mercy, was placed opposite these paintings. The “Simpecado” of Our Lady of Bethlehem, which belonged to a now-extinct male-only Confraternity, is another relevant feature of this Shrine. This valuable “Simpecado” is made of red velvet embroidered in silver.

In the 1950s, the Confraternity of the Crucified Christ was founded here and took its name from this Church. The image was later transferred to the parish, where the Confraternity merged with the Illustrious Sacramental Archconfraternity. 

In recent years, it has housed the Confraternities of St Benedict and the Holy Entrance to Jerusalem.
Cantillana’s Confraternity of Saint Benedict Abbot has its canonical seat here, from where it makes the Pilgrimage to the Saint’s Shrine in Castilblanco de los Arroyos on the last weekend of August.

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