Thursday, July 19, 2012

A Place in History: Madonna Chapel

Madonna Chapel- Smallest church in the world!
Annual Mass at one of the smallest churches in the world, the Madonna Chapel, is held on August 15th in celebration of the Assumption of the Blessed Mother.  The church is located in Bayou Goula, Louisiana along River Road.  The original church was built with lumber donated by area residents in rural Bayou Goula.  The land was donated by Anthony Gullo in 1903.  The church was built as a tribute to the Blessed Mother, and is only 8 square feet.

Interior corner of Madonna Chapel
Tradition states that when the eldest son of Anthony Gullo, a poor local Italian sugar farmer, became seriously ill the father pledged a chapel to the Madonna if the boy recovered.  He did recover, and Anthony Gullo kept his promise.

The Madonna Chapel was cared for by Mr. Gullo until he moved away.  Since, the church has been cared for by local patrons.  Previous caretakers of the church were Ms. Ostino Cashio, Mrs. Rita Zito and Mr and Mrs. A.J. Roppolo.

Robert Ripley brought the church additional fame when he featured it in "Ripley's Believe It or Not".

Inside, the chapel has room for only the Priest and two alter boys.  Patrons gather outside the tiny church each year on August 15 for traditional mass.

Madonna Chapel is located just a few miles from Nottoway Plantation and the drive along River Road is beautiful.  It's been several years since I last visited the area but I enjoyed the scenery and tranquility of the area while there.  You don't want to miss this if you're ever in the area :)

No comments:

Post a Comment