Madonna di Guadalupe e San Francesco di Sales is a 20th century Fascist-era monastery church at Via Galla Placidia 63, south of the Via Tiburtina and to the east of the Tiburtina train station. This is in the Collatino quarter.
The estabishment here is a monastery of nuns of the Order of the Visitation, and not a mere convent. Hence, it has a church not a mere chapel.
However the legal (as distinct from honorific) status of the church here is that of a "subsidiary place of worship" (luogo sussidiaro di culto) or "public chapel", and it is listed as such by the Diocese. The working distinction here between "church" and "public chapel" is that the public has no permanent right of access to the latter.
It is dependent on the parish of San Lorenzo fuori le Mura, which uses it as a Mass centre. This is odd, as the nearest parish church is San Giuseppe Artigiano a Via Tiburtina and the monastery is a detached portion of the San Lorenzo parish.
The monastic community here has had a long and distinguished history.
The community was originally founded at Santi Maria della Visitazione e Francesco di Sales delle Mantellate in 1669 by Pope Clement IX, shortly after the death of St Jane Frances de Chantal who had established the new order of the Visitation. She was helped in this by St Francis de Sales, hence he is in the dedication. The original site was in Trastevere, behind the present prison of Regina Coeli.
In 1793, the nuns moved to Sant'Anna dei Falegnami because the old convent was cramped and in bad repair. They were ejected by the French in 1810, and when Papal government was restored in 1814 were given the convent of Santa Maria dell'Umiltà instead.
In 1849, on the declaration of the Roman Republic, they were evicted again with some brutality. At first they lodged with the Cistercian nuns at Santa Susanna, but in 1856 moved to the Villa Mills on the Palatine Hill. Here they remained until 1905, when the government required them to move on so that the archaeologists could have possession.
From 1905 to 1940 the nuns were resident at the Villa Odescalchi, Via Salaria 123 (over the Catacomba di Sant'Ilaria). This was not suitable as a monastery, especially as the community was growing in size. Hence, finally a properly designed new monastery was built on an expansive site in Collatino in 1940, and the community completed their move in 1942.
Tragically, in the late 20th century the Order has seen a serious decline in vocations. Only two nuns are now listed by the Diocese as resident at this monastery, which is an untenable situation.
This is a is full-sized church on a rectangular plan, with a smaller attached sanctuary and roofs pitched and tiled.
There is a campanile attached to the monastery, which is a white tower with double arched sound-holes and a tiled pyramidal cap.
The church has (or used to have) four side altars.
Mass is celebrated on weekdays at 7:30, and on Sundays at 8:00.
The public are welcome to attend, although if the monastery has to close the arrangement will cease.