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History of Maison Saint Hyacinthe

The building goes up to 1602, under the management of Bastiano and Viviano della Figarella and Ricovero dello Mandriale acting under the name of Santa Maria community and for the part of a Spanish Dominican Father. The works were finished between 1605 and 1606.The whole Lota area gave a contribution for the convent building and the church was dedicated to Saint Hyacinthe, a polish Dominican from Cracovie, canonized by Pope Clement VIII in April 1594.

In 1618 eight Dominican monks could live in the convent. The Fathers lived on their property with olive trees and vineyards. They were devoted to preaching in the region and dispensing the sacraments bringing precious help to the Lota priests.

By 1630 the Head of the Convent was the vicar of the Holy Office, the Great Inquisitor.

Deserted at the French revolution the Convent was sold to the Cecconi family then to Mr Sauveur Raffaelli who restored the church of the Dominicans which was solemnly given back to worship on 11th October 1880 . Then he gave the lot to the Missionary Franciscan Sisters of Mary in 1895. Thus, St Hyacinthe, originally a Convent of Dominican Brothers became a Convent of Franciscan Sisters . In 1895, Count Jean Cagninacci, gave the property to the Franciscan Sisters under the guidance of Mother Mary of Compassion, the first Mother Superior.

An Orphanage till 1960, Saint Hyacinthe welcomed groups of youngsters for Retreats or holiday stays later on.

Besides, the Franciscan nuns took in charge the religious education of the whole area where they did a lot of good. After they,left , the convent was abandoned for over 10 years.

Then, Mgr Andre Lacrampe, the bishop of Ajaccio, in 1999 made request to the Polish Catholic Mission in France who answered a pastoral and missionary need of the Corsican Church by sending the first Polish nuns of the Good Shepperd Congregation,rejoicing all the people in the neighbourhood. The Convent experienced a real revival.

Today the Maison Saint Hyacinthe is still attached to the Ajaccio diocese and to the surrounding parishes.

This information are collected from the book by Chanoine F Saravelli « History of a Pieve Lota »