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Sacra Famiglia a Villa Troili

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Sacra Famiglia a Villa Troili is a mid 20th century parish and convent church at Via di Villa Troili 48, in the Gianicolense suburban area west of La Pisana and south of the Via Aurelia.

The dedication is to the Holy Family.

History Edit

This is primarily a convent church, completed in 1957 to a modernised neo-Romanesque design. The architect is given as "Gorelli". Back then, the surroundings were mostly rural (the immediate vicinity of the convent still is).

The complex was erected as the Generalate of the Missionaries of the Holy Family (Missionari della Sacra Famiglia), and the parish was only erected in 1962 in response to suburban development.

At the end of the 20th century the Missionaries gave up the convent and parish, which were taken over by the Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (Servi del Cuore Immacolato di Maria, or ICMS). These are not anything to do the American sisterhood of the same name, but are part of a new religious family founded in 1991.

Exterior Edit

Layout Edit

This is fairly large church on a rectangular basilical plan. Firstly there is an entrance bay flanked by a pair of large external chapels, then comes a central nave of four bays with aisles. Finally there is a transept of the same width, which is occupied by the sanctuary (there is no apse).

A covered corridor runs up the external wall of the right hand aisle to meet sacristy accommodation adjoining the right hand end of the transept. The main convent buildings attach to the back of the church.

The transept is over a crypt.

Fabric Edit

The walls are all in good-quality brickwork, using pale brown bricks.

There is a double-pitched and tiled roof to the central nave, but the side aisles have single pitches. The entrance bay chapels are higher and slightly wider than the aisles behind, but are not as high as the central nave. The rooflines have simple cornices in white, with a single step.

Each bay of the central nave has a pair of tall and thin vertical rectangular windows, sharing a sill but separated by a brick pilaster which melds with the walling above. The windows have wide white frames, slightly recessed. Each bay of the aisles has a small and rather unusual window in the shape of a Greek cross just below the roofline -these are visible above the corridor attached to the right hand aisle. The entrance chapels each have one of these windows in an otherwise blank side wall.

Over the crossing of the transept is a low octagonal drum dome with a fairly steeply pitched cap without a lantern (looking rather Armenian in style), and four windows in the shape of a Greek cross in the diagonal faces of the drum. Below these faces the drum rests on stepped beam squinches in lieu of pendentives.

The transept ends each have five of the tall rectangular windows, a group of three flanked by a pair of singletons. The crypt windows are visible at ground level at the left hand end.

There is a little bell-turret attached to the convent behind the altar, in the same style as the dome but with the drum proportionally taller and with a rectangular sound-hole in each face.

Façade Edit

The major axis of the church is parallel to the road and the church is situated away from it, so the entrance overlooks a garden piazza with a circular fountain set in a ring-shaped lawn.

The actual façade is structurally slightly narrower and taller than the central nave behind. The gable has a white stepped cornice, but the frontage is otherwise in plain brick. Above the single entrance is a row of seven conjoined vertical rectangular recesses, the central five occupied by windows. The frontage walls of the flanking chapels also each have this feature, but smaller.

The entrance is approached by a flight of six steps, bounded by two low stand-alone screen walls set slightly diagonally. The large doorway is within a larger recessed portal, bounded by a pair of white concrete columns supporting a massive lintel beam.

Interior Edit

The interior is very stark and simple, being painted in pale pastel shades. The windows have stained glass, which give some colour.

The aisles are occupied by side chapels. These are accessed via wide rectangular portals, separated by square piers which are undifferentiated from the walls above. The flat ceiling is completely blank.

In place of a triumphal arch, the sanctuary is entered via an enormous pylon formed of two engaged square piers supporting a massive horizontal beam just below the level of the nave ceiling. The ends of the transept have the same feature, while the far end merely has a large recessed panel in lieu of an apse. The dome above has stepped squinches in lieu of pendentives, and the walls of the drum are undifferentiated from the wall surfaces below.

Because of the crypt below, the sanctuary is raised quite high and is accessed via six steps.

The back panel contains a large figurative sculptural relief of the Holy Family with angels, formed of separate appliqué element made of polychrome plastics apparently.

Liturgy Edit

Mass is celebrated:

Weekdays 18:30;

Sundays and Solemnities 11:00, 18:30.

External links Edit

Official diocesan web-page

Info.roma web-page

Congregation's website

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