The Church of Our Lady of Good Health (Madonna della Sanità) is what remains of a Basilian Monastery (11th century) consisting of several rooms and other premises. The Coenobium is known as St. Isidore Agricola and it is one of the fourteen (out of the original four hundred) that were still standing in Calabria around the mid-Eighteenth century (Della Calabria lllustrata; by Giovanni Fiore da Cropani).
Inside, behind the altar, there are the remains of a Byzantine fresco dating back to the 15th Century, depicting La Pietà (The Pity), a saint, and the Eternal. Some years ago, three large paintings were stolen by unidentified people: Our Lady of Good Health – Madonna delta Sanità (oil on canvas from the 18th century), La Pietà (The Pity) and the Saints, the Saints, Anthony from Padua and Francis from Assisi (two oils from 1861). The old wooden altar, adorned with images symbolizing Our Lady, dates back to 1746.
Near the altar, the statue of Our Lady of Good Health with the Child and the Sick (1964) by sculptor Perathoner from Ortisei (Bolzano) stands prominently. The wooden group, blessed by Pope Paul VI on April 29, 1964, in Rome in the presence of numerous residents of Badolato, led by Archpriest Don Antonio Peronace and Archbishop of Catanzaro-Squillace Monsignor Armando Fares, replaced the previous one, by Neapolitan sculptor Cucchiara (early 20th Century), destroyed in a fire on the night of August 23, 1963.
The painting over the altar, at present, created in 2007 using computerized techniques, reproduces the stolen one and recalls the legend of the peasant Isidore, whose son was sick. Our Lady appeared to him in a dream and told him to go to the orchard and pick cherries (it was winter) and to give them to the child to eat. Isidore had faith, went to the orchard, and found the cherry tree full of fruit. He fed the child, who recovered.
In 2017, the Cultural Association La Radice, with the consent of the parish priest of Badolato and the availability of the restorer Pino Mantella, presented a restoration project for the Byzantine fresco to the Archdiocesan Curia of Catanzaro. The Curia and the Superintendence of Cosenza authorized it, and, hopefully, the recovery of this treasure of art and history will proceed soon.
In 2021, with the direct commitment and funding from La Radice Cultural Association and AVIS Badolato, the extensive cistern that collected water from the Coenobium’s roof for the necessary use of the monks was recovered and made visible.