Hidden treasures

Il beato who lived in a tree trunk in the Carmini School in Venice

Unknown places & works

Il beato who lived in a tree trunk in the Carmini School in Venice

In Campo Santa Margherita in Venice is a hidden jewel: the Carmini School. This is one of the few brotherhoods in Venice which survived Napoleonic suppressions of the early nineteenth century. Precious works of art can be seen inside the building, included a ceiling painted by Gian Battista Tiepolo in 1739.

This canvas tells about a very peculiar character, the Blessed Simon Stock. Born in England in the second half of twelfth century, he left his home and family at twelve and retired as a hermit under an oak (hence the name Stock, coming from ancient English, meaning tree trunk.) He later walked around the counties of his country preaching. After a pilgrimage in the Holy Land, he made up his mind to join the Carmelites, to eventually become the general prior of the order in 1247, at 82.

In the fifteenth century, the legend of one ‘Saint Simon' began to spread around the Netherlands. According to that, Saint Simon had a vision where the Virgin Mary announced him all people dying while wearing a scapular would have been freed of the pains of Purgatory on the first Saturday following their death. The vision was soon associated to Simon Stock, the General Prior of the Carmelites. The Blessed man's vision was painted by Tiepolo in the main hall of the school. We see the Virgin Mary appearing to Simon Stock offering him a scapular.

You found this article interesting and would love to know more about the most curious and mysterious sides of Venice? Book a custom visit of the city with Francesca, our guide and author of this appreciated column.

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

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