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San Crispino da Viterbo

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San Crispino da Viterbo is a late 20th century parish church at Via Offanengo 6, in the north of the suburban zone of Labaro which is itself north-west of the junction between the Via Salaria and the Grande Raccordo Anulare (Circonvallazione Settentrionale). A picture of the church on Wikimedia Commons is here.

Name Edit

The patron saint is Crispin of Viterbo, a Capuchin lay-brother who died at the friary of Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini at Rome in 1750. Despite being illiterate, he had great spiritual wisdom and was heroic in nursing sick people. He was an extremely popular figure in the city, touring the streets on begging expeditions with bare feet and with lice running through his beard. The "Capuchin Donkey", his nickame for himself, was canonized in 1982 and is a popular saint in Rome.

History Edit

The parish was established in 1973.

The permanent church was designed by Aldo Ortolani, begun in 1985 and completed in 1987 with the assistance of Bruno Fux. The consecration was in 1990.

Exterior Edit

Layout and fabric Edit

The plan is based on a square with the major axis on the diagonal, although the church strongly resembles a fan or scallop shell in the satellite images. One corner of the square is cut off to form a short incurved wall behind the altar, and the top left and top right hand walls adjacent are straight. The entrance is in the opposite corner of the square to the altar.

The fabric is in naked reinforced concrete, including the flat roof. Thirteen skylight strips radiate from the altar end in a fan, and where they intersect the sides of the square of the plan adjacent to the entrance a short section of concrete wall is placed perpendicular to the line of the beam. This results in these two walls having a vertically stepped profile in grey concrete, showing the shuttering marks. The face of each section of wall has a vertical strip window running up its height, and a wider rectangular window separating it from the next section and perpendicular to both.

The church stands on a stone-flagged patio accessed by six steps.

The church is flanked by two flat-roofed two-storey ancillary wings running closely parallel to the far diagonal walls. Behind the altar is a circular ferial or Blessed Sacrament chapel, and the two wings are connected by a single-storey link curving round the far side of this. These ancillary structures are in white.

There is a campanile on the roof of the ferial chapel, consisting of two thin vertical slabs of concrete supporting a metal bell-cage in the form of a vertical cylinder and crowned with a cross.

Façade Edit

The first two wall sections, either side of the entrance, have a wider rectangular window instead of a slit. The entrance has a flat square concrete slab as a floating canopy, set diagonally so that a corner is over the centre of the doorway, and two huge concrete slabs set in a V above this, the mouth of the V pointing outwards.

Interior Edit

The interior is dominated by the roof, in raw concrete with the shuttering marks showing. It contains thirteen skylight strips converging towards the sanctuary. The altar stands before a portal into the Blessed Sacrament chapel, which is flanked by two massive concrete slab piers supporting an incurved beam which itself supports the altar end of the roof.

The side walls are either in raw concrete, or are revetted with red brick.

Liturgy Edit

Mass is celebrated:

Weekdays 9:00, 18:30;

Sundays and Solemnities 9:00, 10:00, 11:30, 18:30.

Times and frequency are liable to change during July and August -see the parish website.

External links Edit

Official diocesan web-page Parish website

Info.roma web-page

Beweb web-page

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