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Madonna dell’Orto a Porta Tiburtina is an early 20th century convent chapel located at Viale di Porta Tiburtina 14, just east of the Termini train station in the Tiburtino quarter.
The dedication is to the Blessed Virgin Mary, under her special title of Our Lady of the Garden.
This is the chapel of the convent of the former Generalate of the Sisters, Figlie di Maria Santissima dell’Orto (Daughters of Holy Mary of the Garden), now the headquarters of the Roman province.
This congregation was founded at Chiaravari in 1827 by St Antonio Maria Gianelli, and is hence nicknamed the Gianelline. It obtained Papal approval in 1868, and established its Roman headquarters here in the early 20th century.
The name derives from a Marian sanctuary in Chiaravari, and has nothing to do with the church of Santa Maria dell'Orto in Trastevere. By apparent coincidence, the Josephite community running the local parish church of Santa Maria Immacolata e San Giovanni Berchmans originated in a parish of the same name in Venice. Perhaps the sisters were inspired to establish themselves in the parish because of this (the church was opened in 1909).
Despite having its own dedication, the chapel is private and has no separate architectural identity. The convent building is an unassuming block typical of the period, when many such structures were going up in Rome, and is of little interest.
The simply decorated little chapel has an unusual tabernacle behind the altar, set into the chest of a depiction of Christ. This is part of a triangular fresco showing Christ with two other figures -are they the disciples at Emmaus?