Miracle At The Italian Chapel
The Italian Chapel, on the remote Orkney Islands, is striking and beautiful. Set above the rugged shoreline on the tiny island of Lambholm. The story of its construction reflects the light of creativity shining out of the darkness of adversity. Yet it was outside at the back of the chapel, where all you can see is the mere Nissen Hut it was built from, that I encountered a miracle I hadn’t even realized I was searching for.
The Italian Chapel was once part of a World War 2 POW Camp holding Italian Soldiers captured in Africa. At their request, two Nissen Huts within the camp placed end to end were allocated to them for use as a school and a chapel. One of the prisoners, an artist named Domenico Chioccetti, took charge of decorating the Nissen Huts as a chapel.
His artistry inspired a building so beautiful that it brought to my mind such wonders as St Peter’s Basilica or the Taj Mahal.
The ornate and beautiful facade around the main entrance is the first thing you notice about the Italian Chapel. The most striking part of the beautiful and ornate interior is a picture of Mother Mary with the Baby Jesus on her lap.
The picture is a reproduction of The Madonna Of The Olives by Nicolo Barabino. A small copy of this picture had been given to Chioccetti by his mother and he carried it with him throughout the war. Everything about this to me was the power and reach of a mother’s love.
I walked outside and around the Chapel to get a picture from the back.