Chiesa delle Anime Sante (previously called Chiesa delle Madonna del Buon Pensiero)
Article 24 of the notarial deed drawn up in Polizzi between the Count Giuseppe Cutelli and the first settlers of the new village, Castel Normanno, obliged the count to build a catholic church at his expense to have a place to pray.
The building of a new church was justified by the fact that the Chapel built by the Baron Antonio Cicala, unofficial founder of the village, turned out to be too small as time passed. His nephew, who was a deeply religious man, kept his word and constructed the sacred building as a simple but worthwhile project. Its original profile can still be admired in the existing façade restored a century ago. It was also modified in order to make space for the provincial road and in part to meet the demands of the convent nuns.
The larger bell of the chapel was built by the Baron Cicala, now Oratorio del Rosario, and placed on the tower of the Chiesa della Madonna del Buon Pensiero as a sign of its founder’s devotion and gratitude. As we mentioned previously, the following words are written around the lower edge of the: bell: “D. Antonino Cicala, Baron of the Ulmo Valley, 1645”. The work was finished in 1654 and the church was consecrated and inaugurated by the bishop of Cefalù. The aisleless Corinthian-Roman church attached to the south side of the old feudal farm, was dedicated to the Madonna del Buon Pensiero whose statue, after being venerated for over a century on the high altar, was transferred to the sacristy and has been duly kept by the nuns until today. The statue was removed from its original place by the archpriest Monsignor Randazzo who careless of home traditions, changed the name of the church into the Chiesa delle Anime Sante and dedicated its high altar to the Madonna del Rosario (Blessed Mother of the Rosary). The new church, as it was the custom, was used as a burial place until the building of the present Mother Church. Two mausoleums were erected next to the four lateral altars: one for the Duchess of Catologna Anna Summaniata (the first wife of Count Giuseppe ) and the other for the Count Antonio Cutelli who was assassinated on the 5th August 1711. One of the altars was designed to keep
the Crucifix. The construction of the provincial road in 1892 which passes through the village, deprived the church of the flight of steps which conferred it a certain impressiveness. In order to access the church, two or three steps were built in its interior.
Translation by Giuseppe Castelli