The Oratorio of the Disciplini
Borgo di Terzo | Luoghi religiosi
A meeting place for the Confraternity of Flagellants
A small courtyard divides the simple church of the Disciplini from the parish church of the village. Here, in the second half of the 17th century a lay group that practiced self-flagellation used to meet, hoping thereby to ensure themselves a place in heaven … accompanied by the sound of the lash…
The now abandoned building is a rare trace of the existence of this group of people and their practice, which united a life of devotion, meditation and prayer with that of penitence. Between the 13th and 14th centuries they attracted converts not just in the Val Cavallina, but throughout Europe.
According to local sources in Borgo di Terzo there were two orders of Disciplini, organised according to the colour of their vestments: the Green and the White. However, both were practitioners of public flagellation with whips, or sticks that had cords attached, with knots tied at the end or sharp iron barbs. This took place during long religious processions throughout the town.
The Green Disciplini gathered in the church of San Rocco, which now no longer exists, while the White Disciplini on the other hand met in this now-abandoned building, which can be accessed by entering through the portico of Sarnico stone at the centre of a very simple façade, faced in rough plaster.
On the inside it is still possible to see a main altar made of wood and a statue of the dead Christ, surrounded by a balustrade of red and black marble beyond two oval frames. The little, square, sandstone bell tower can be accessed from the nave of the church.