Pope Francis has sent a special blessing to mark the 70th anniversary of one of Scotland’s most unusual landmarks. The Italian Chapel in Orkney was built during the Second World War by Italian POWs and has since become the island’s number one tourist attraction. In his message, Pope Francis prays; “that this Chapel, built in time of war, may continue to be a sign of peace and reconciliation”
The magnificent interior, created with scraps of wood and metal and paints provided by an enlightened camp commandant turned the Nissen huts into a tiny basilica-style space filled with light and images of angels and the Blesed Virgin Mary under the title Regina Pacis – Queen of Peace. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the departure of the Italian prisoners from Orkney.
On Sunday (18 May) a special Mass will be held in the tiny chapel, celebrated by the Papal Ambassador (Nuncio) to Great Britain, Archbishop Antonio Mennini and former Glasgow Archbishop Mario Conti.