The church of St. James the Apostle is more commonly referred to as the parish of Vigonovo, as it was consecrated so in 1186 by Pope Urban III. Located just outside the Province of Pordenone, the church has a somewhat repetitive history of being destroyed by Turkish invaders and rebuilt by the local community. This history gave rise to an obscure tradition which says that the Virgin Mary appeared to three children in 1499 and promised her protection for the community if they agreed to rebuild the church one more time in her honor. While it is difficult to determine the veracity of this tradition, the church has conspicuously remained standing ever since.
In 1903, a new church organ was installed and blessed by Cardinal Giuseppe Sarto, a milestone which inaugurated a series of embellishments and restorations that would take place over the next few decades. Unlike the church of St. Mark, the parish of Vigonovo is decorated primarily by statues, with only a few renaissance era paintings to be found throughout.
The overall size of the church is impressive compared to the surrounding area, which is only a tiny suburb of Pordenone. Like most Italian shrines however, the parish of Vigonovo has become difficult to find in the wake of centuries of industrial development. But if you’re like me, you just might get lucky enough to run into while passing through. Just make sure to keep your camera handy next time you’re in the neighborhood. You never know what you’re going to find until you get out there and explore.