Chapel of Maria Devastated

Altarpiece of the Saint Christ of Holly Thorn (1855)

Josep Oriol Mestres i Esplugas (1815-1895) MiTPi-0147


First devoted to Saint Magdalene and Saint William, first patron saint of the bakers of Barcelona. In the first years of the 16th century was added a little chapel devoted to Our Lady of Pureness, which was given by the rector Bartomeu Regàs. Years later this statue became the patron saint of the chapel until the 18th century. In 1658 was placed here the Confraternity of Young Shoemakers, who added the statues of their patron saints, Crispin and Crispinian. The marquises of Aitona, later dukes of Medinaceli, had the patronage of this chapel and the right of being buried here. During the siege of 1714 the bombs severely damaged it and was later restored. In 1763 was moved here the Confraternity of the Holy Thorn because of the continuous inundations in the crypt. In this moment was also moved the confraternity’s Crucifix and the relic of the Holy Thorn. In 1855 Josep Oriol Mestres designed the present altarpiece, hugely inspired in the Italian Renaissance style. It consists in a great triumphal arch supported by two composite columns and pillars, with Grotesque motifs in the lower part, dated from the 18th century. Inside the triumphal arch are placed the two patron saints: the Crucifix of the Holy Thorn and Maria Devastated. Above the altar there is a tabernacle where was kept the relic of the Holy Thorn. The lamps made in colour glasses are notorious. In 1936 the altarpiece was uninjured although the relic of the Holy Thorn and the statues were lost. Nowadays are devoted Saint Gemma Galgani, the Infant Jesus of Prague and Saint Rita of Cascia, as well as Maria Devastated under the Cross.

© Basílica de Santa Maria del Pi, Albert Cortés
Altarpiece of the Holy Thorn before 1936.

Reliquary of the Holy Thorn (1592).