Father Constantine

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Father Costantino Ruggeri, born in Adro (Brescia) in the 1925he completed his classical studies in the Franciscan convents of Saiano and Sabbioncello and his theological studies in the convent of Busto Arsizio, where he painted a cycle of frescoes. In 1951 ordained priest in Milan Cathedral by Cardinal Schuster and the same year was his first painting exhibition at the 'S. Fedele' Gallery in Milan presented by Mario Sironi. Fedele' in Milan presented by Mario Sironi.
In 1954 received the 1st 'S. Fedele' painting prize. Fedele' and the 3rd 'Marzotto' Prize.
From 1958 to 1962 he attended the Brera Academy and graduated in sculpture with a thesis on Christian epigraphic symbols in the catacombs. He cultivated encounters with artists and architects: Fontana, Dova, Capogrossi, Crippa, Le Corbusier, Alvar Aalto.
In 1959 Established his art studio in the Convent of Canepanova in Paviawhere he continued his work as a painter and sculptor and devoted himself to the study of the sacred space with the design of chapels and the search for new forms for sacred furnishings and ornaments as well as sacred vestments and artistic stained-glass windows made of lead-blown antique glass.
He collaborated with a number of Italian architects, including Figini and Pollini, Giò Ponti, Gardella, Castiglioni, Vaccaro, Gresleri, Trebbi and Nervi, on the construction of new churches and, having become passionate about the subject, he tackled the realisation of his own sacred architecture projects together with architect Luigi Leoni.
1977 is the first church of Santa Maria della Gioia in Varese.
In 1986 is in charge of the work at Weekday Chapel in the Cathedral of Milanand realised all the elements of the new liturgical space.
In 1987 is commissioned to build the New Shrine of Our Lady of Divine Love in Romeconsecrated on 4 July 1999 by Pope John Paul II.
In 1993 plans, for the city of Yamaguchi in Japan, the new shrine of St Francis Xavieropened on 29 April 1998.
Since 1993 promotes, thanks to the Brother Sun Foundation created by him, the promotion of sacred art by instituting the four-yearly 'Frate Sole' award.
At end of 2006 is consecrated in Bethlehem the new chapel of the Theotokos next to the Sanctuary of the Grotta del Latte being restored.
The 24 June 2007, in Adrohis home town, the inauguration of his latest sculptural work depicting the 'face of Franciacorta'.
The 25 June 2007, Father Costantino passed away in Merate hospitalnear the Sabbioncello Convent, where he spent the last weeks of his life.