Our small church first mentioned in 1163 is one of the places of meditation and peace in the land of Saint Francis
The name of the toponym on which the Domus Laetitiae stands, “Santa Croce”, refers to evident and still palpable roots, not only in the religious traditions that are repeated every year in this place, but also in the small church open to guests.
Its history is very ancient and eventful. The first written record of its existence dates back to 1163, in a Diploma with which Emperor Frederick I took under his protection the Benedictine Abbey of S. Donato di Pulpiano with all the surrounding assets including the Church of Santa Croce. Subsequently, the small Church was mentioned in 1332 among those paying the tenth tax on the ecclesiastical Benefits of the Duchy of Spoleto to meet the urgent needs of the Holy See.
The aforementioned Abbey, later called S. Bartolomeo di Petrorio, in 1419 joined the Monastery of S. Ambrogio in Gubbio of the Order of Regular Canons, which in turn merged with the Monastery of S. Secondo of the same City.
Certainly the ancient building and the church to which the above news and documents refer, stood in a place that was close to a farmhouse between the Gualdo Tadino - Perugia communication route and the Rasina river and for this reason it was worthy of many attention.
The possession of the Church of Santa Croce passed from one monastery to another, surviving over another three centuries until it collapsed, due to an earthquake in 1751.
It was rebuilt shortly after, in smaller dimensions, by Mons. Chiappè, Bishop of Nocera Umbra through the collection of alms.
It is not known if it was rebuilt in the same place or a short distance away, what has been handed down from the testimonies is that on the altar of Santa Croce there was a celebration of three Masses for the feast of the Cross on May 3 and often an ex-devotional Mass.
After more than a century of ecclesiastical history, the Santa Croce complex became a peasant dwelling and was handed down among some families of Gualdo Tadino who were also entrusted with the maintenance and cultivation of the fields.
On February 17, 1968, the farm and the church inside were purchased by the Gentilucci family, still current owner today, who in 2008 renovated the entire complex, transforming it into a welcoming farmhouse. The new owners, humanly linked to the history of the place and to the celebration of the Holy Cross, proposed to move the celebration to May 1st, the day in which thanks are given for the work, in order to allow a larger participation.
Today, our guests who choose to visit Umbria because attracted by the spirituality of Franciscan places such as Assisi, or Benedictines such as Norcia, can appreciate the original ancient walls and the ancient pedestal of the altar, connected to similar elements found at the hermitage on the top of Monte Serrasanta and in the church of Sant’Ubaldo in Gubbio. Perhaps, all three, elements of the stem of an ancient pagan column.
Spending some of your time immersed in the peace and nature of these collected, reserved and rich in history places is a source of inspiration and support in the search for inner peace.