The Treasure inside St Maria delle Rose

by ARoadRetraveled /
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Dec 16, 2008 / 0 comments

When a local tells you: “You have to go see this particular place”, I
highly recommend you do!  I was never disappointed with suggestions I
received from the locals, and this was one of those suggestions.

I’ve been to Assisi several times, and I thought I visited every church
in this beautiful medieval town so filled with the spiritual essence of
St Francis and St Claire. But I never knew about this one particular
church, Santa Maria delle Rose (St Mary of the Rose), and even more so
of the secret it holds inside. All I was told was: “You have to go see
this church. It’s very interesting”. Little did I know…

The secret is the Maria Collection, an installation that touches all
your senses, uplifts your soul, and inspires your spirit. Artist Guido
Dettoni shaped with his hands, eyes closed, spirit open, a most
beautiful and simple shape that represents the Virgin Mary in six
stages of her life from the Annunciation to the Dove of Peace. And this
wondrous sculpture takes the shape of your hand when you hold it. The
installation is large and embraces as you step inside. Alpha above,
Omega below…surrounded by 33 glass cylinders each holding a Mary statue
made from various exotic wood to represent the 33 years her Son spent
on Earth.

To add to the magical experience of this installation is the music
played in the background by Juan Carlos Garcia. Greatly inspired by the
installation, he composed a collection of the most soul moving pieces
to accompany each of the stages of Virgin Mary’s life. 

When I created this segment for my travel show on the Maria Collection,
I was rather hesitant at first because I was aware of the artist’s
desire to not publicize this collection. You won’t find out about this
on any travel guide because it’s a kept a secret meant to be discovered
serendipitously or shared by word of mouth by those who were inspired
by it. I took a chance creating the segment, and if the artist
disapproved, I would’ve gladly respected his wishes and take it down.
On the contrary, within a week of releasing the show with this segment
in it, I received a very nice letter from Guido Dettoni himself and
received his blessing for sharing my experience at the St Marie delle
Rose with my viewers. As I hold my own Mary marble sculpture that I
purchased, I am amazed at how a perfect fit it is and what a wonderful
feeling of peace it invokes.

For more information on Guido Dettoni , his other spiritually inspired
pieces, log on:   And for more information on composer
Juan Carlos Garcia you can visit his site:

If you’ve been to Assisi before and missed this amazing installation or
plan on visiting Assisi in the future, you’ll be happy to know that the
installation is permanent and you can visit it anytime.

The  Virgin Mary Collection