San Ferdinando Re is a mid 20th century parish and covent church at Via Nocara 25 in the suburb of Tor Mezzavia, just south-east of the junction of Via Tuscolana with the Circonvallazione Orientale. This is is the Casal Morena suburban zone.
St Ferdinand III was king of the united kingdoms of Léon and Castile in Spain from 1230 to 1252. He smashed the power of the Muslims in Spain after the decisive battle of Los Navos de Tolosa in 1212, and conquered all their territory except Granada.
The church was designed by Amelio Schiavo, and completed in 1958.
The parish, set up in the same year, is administered by the Mercedarians. The dedication is because the Mercedarians as a religious order were founded to ransom Christian captives from Muslims.
Layout and fabric Edit
The church has a rectangular plan, with a five-sided sanctuary apse attached, and comprises a single nave of four bays without side aisles.
This is an unassuming design, based on the neo-Romanesque style. The fabric is in red brick, with details in travertine limestone. The edifice has a pitched and tiled roof and side walls rendered in orange-yellow, with three red brick pilasters running from ground level to the slightly overhanging eaves of the roof. There is a large rectangular window between each pair of pilasters and another between the first pilaster and the façade, three on each side.
Towards the rear of the right hand side wall is attached a small cuboidal ancillary wing with a flat roof, which contains a side chapel with a pair of flanking windows and a sacristy behind. There is a matching chapel on the left hand side, butted onto the convent building.
The apse has two rectangular windows.
There is a tall bellcote or campanile on top of the left hand side of the far nave wall.
The entrance façade has three vertical zones. The two outer ones are in red brick and support a triangular pediment which has its entablature broken in the middle. The middle zone is slightly recessed, is in the orange-yellow colour which continues uninterrupted into the pediment and has a large vertical rectangular window.
There is an external narthex with a pitched and hipped roof, consisting of an open porch flanked by two closed porches with entrances round the sides. The walls of this are in red brick, with corner quoins in travertine.
The interior is very simple, all in white including the ceiling which follows the pitch of the roof. The window frames, triumphal and chapel arches, springing of the ceiling and wall pilasters are picked out in light grey. The three arches mentioned have no imposts.
The present altar is now in between the two side chapels, but the old altar has been kept for the Blessed Sacrament. Above it is a large oil painting of St Ferdinand with his court in front of a large outdoor crucifix.
Colour is provided by stained glass in the windows.
Mass is celebrated (summer 2016):
Weekdays 18:30, preceded by Rosary at 18:00;
Sundays and Solemnities 8:30, 10:30, 18:30.
On First Fridays there is Mass at 17:00, followed by Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and prayer for vocations.