Theophilus Schweighart: Speculum Sophicum Rhodostauroticum (1604)
The Rosicrucian Lodge dating back to the first half of the 15th century, is therefore contemporary to the plague that struck Chiavari in 1449, as reported by Alfonso Casini, author of a history of the city. The Roses+Crosses were dedicated, as a spiritual mission, to healing through alchemy: the Rosicrucians present in the Lodge did their best to provide deep cures, remedies and therapies to the plague victims.
Then there are external links to the symbolism of the Rosicrucian Lodge itself. In fact the very name of “via Rivarola” is linked to a Christian and secret confraternity, the “Crocetarii”, founded by the archbishop of the time, Matteo Rivarola. The “Crocetarii” were composed of selected members of the most cultured and influential families of the village of Chiavari: their spiritual task consisted in assisting those condemned to death in the last part of their lives, so as to teach them the way of Christ. Their name recalls that of the Crusaders (the Knights Templar) and at the same time that of the Roses+Crosses, their spiritual heirs.
The crocetarians thus performed a karmic service to those condemned to death, infusing their souls with direct knowledge of the spiritual world. Some of the most advanced souls of the time made themselves available to those left behind in order to balance karmic debts and to advance together, as a human society, in spiritual evolution. The members of the Rivarola confraternity acquired this spiritual knowledge through an initiation ritual based on the alchemical way of the Rosa+Croce.
So the Crocetarii were part of that part of Christians within the Catholic Church who, a few centuries before the Enlightenment and its drift in the French Revolution, aspired to a spiritual reform of the Church of Peter, so that it could place itself under the guidance of the Church of John. The same project was carried out by Alessandro Conte di Cagliostro (1743-1795), on behalf of the Grand Master of the Knights of Malta, Manuel Pinto de Fonseca (1681-1773), and his successor, Raimondo di Sangro (1710-1771).
The hoped-for union of the two churches eventually became impossible, and so came the spiritual degeneration of Catholicism which resulted on the one hand in the abomination of the sale of indulgences and in the protest of Martin Luther (1483-1546), and on the other in crimes of the Holy Inquisition, which reached its maximum power in those years. Cagliostro was the last victim of the unfortunate tribunal (transformed today into the “congregation for the doctrine of the faith”).
With regard to the end of the Lodge, or the destruction of the building, and the paradoxical survival of the facade, it can be said that the secrecy of the confraternity also required the cancellation of traces to the accomplishment of their mission in that given place. Each Rosicrucian mission had to take place within a specific time and place, after which the initiates scattered to perform new actions to alleviate and compensate the karma of a people, an event or a place. As in the Masonic tradition, they left behind only the symbols of such action, so that other initiates could later recognize the past Rosicrucian presence. And so the building was abandoned after the Rosicrucians who lived there left. Only the façade was preserved as a reminder of the Rosicrucians’ action in the citadel of Chiavari.