Sepulchres, which have been widespread throughout the Mediterranean area for at least a thousand years, are more or less rich or complex stagings of the catafalque for the dead Christ, assiduously visited by devotees. In Mendrisio, until the restoration work completed in 2014, a theatrical scene was set up in the church of Santa Maria nascente in the village.
Much rarer and therefore exceptional, but very popular with the people of Mendrisio, is the Septenary in the Church of San Giovanni, formerly belonging to the Servants of Mary. This is an evening service dedicated to one of Mary's Seven Sorrows, with special prayers and the singing of the Stabat Mater (attributed to Jacopone da Todi) in the form of an antiphon. To music of unknown origin, the men take it in turns to sing one verse in the church choir and the women respond from the nave with the next.
Unfortunately, the large and impressive temporary altar in the Church of St John (painted by Bagutti around 1775), where the statue of Our Lady of Sorrows used to be placed, is no longer in place. Now it is taken out of its niche in the apse, dressed in its festive costume (from the beginning of the 19th century, restored) and placed on a table decorated with paintings with its rich golden stretcher (around 1780) until shortly before the procession.
In the last decade of the 19th century, the socio-economic circumstances of the canton finally allowed for a considerable investment in the restoration and renewal of the processions. On that occasion, the newly founded committee, which still runs the whole organisation today, decided to fix the year 1898 as the first centenary of the reorganisation because one of the few historical documents still preserved mentions the landfogto [landvogt], i.e. the Helvetic governor of the Italophone provinces who was in charge of the district from the 16th century until 1798.