It is one of the oldest churches in Comiso and since 1997 it became a diocesan sanctuary too. The church dates back to the fourteenth century and it was dedicated to Sant’Antonio. In 1478, when Comiso was ruled by the Naselli family, the old church was donated to the Franciscan friars, as the Nasellis wanted to erect a chapel-mausoleum for themselves.
Works started in 1549 and led to a complete renovation of the building: indeed, the outer walls and the southern door are the only remaining parts of the old church.
Leaning against the church stands the Friars Minor’s convent, which has a nice cloister, enclosed by a simple portico. Works lasted up to 1571 when also the private Naselli’s chapel, located inside an octagonal apse, was finished.
The architectural complex includes the church, the convent and the cloister, all of them characterized by Catalan-Gothic elements. The church, with a single nave, has a hut-shaped façade on which stands a very simple portal flanked by two narrow tapering columns. The upper part of the façade ends with a refined circular opening (oculus window).
The private chapel-mausoleum has a square base which turns into an octagon over the border frame of the dome. The apse is at the back of the chapel.
Next to the church there is the square-plan convent and a central cloister, with vaguely Arabic elements and a portico inspired by the simple Franciscan architectural style.
• The funerary monument of Baldassarre II, also known as Conte Rosso (The Red Earl) attributed to Antonello Gagini. It is a sarcophagus on which stands a statue representing Baldassarre II.
• The tomb of Baldassare I, located behind the main altar;
• A local stone-made Renaissance portal, taken from the ancient church of Santissimo Cristo, which is used as a niche for the sixteenth century statue of San Rocco.
• A sixteenth century painting depicting the Immaculate Virgin who watches over Comiso.
• A XVI century canvas depicting San Placido, Santa Tecla and San Donato, attributed to a pupil of Perugino.
• A painting depicting San Francesco and a holy hermit attributed to the Sicilian art school of the XVII century.
• A canvas with the stigmata of San Francesco attributed to Vincenzo from Pavia (XVI century).
Progetto finanziato con risorse di cui al Progetto d'Eccellenza "Culto e cultura - Itinerari di turismo religioso" di cui alla L- 296/2006 art. 1 c. 1228.
TOURIST PACKAGE CONTRACT (Aut. Regione Sicilia N.3743/S. 7 Tur del 22.02.2017)