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San Fulgenzio

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San Fulgenzio is a 20th century Fascist-era parish church at Via della Balduina 296, in the suburb of Balduina in the Trionfale district north of Vatican City.

Name Edit

St Fulgentius of Ruspe was a famous bishop and patristic author of Roman Africa, who spent some time in Rome as a refugee from the Vandals but died at home in 533.

History Edit

The church was completed in 1933, the architect being Clemente Busiri Vici. However, back then it was not a parish church but served what was still a rural hamlet.

The parish was only set up in 1967 -fairly certainly if this had been delayed by only a few years, it would not have happened.

Despite being run by the Diocese, the church is part of a school complex comprising the Scuola Sant'Antonio which belongs to the Missionarie della Dottrina Cristiana.

Exterior Edit

Layout and fabric Edit

This is a rather simple and straightforward building, set back from the main street on a courtyard. It has an asymmetrical plan of a central nave of five bays. The third bay has a small polygonal external chapel of three sides on the left hand side, and a side aisle off the right hand side of the third to sixth bays. The transverse rectangular sanctuary extends to occupy the end of the aisle, and beyond this end is an enclosed passageway running to what is now the oldest building of the school complex. This is an impressive three-storey symmetrical villa with two wings.

The external walls are rendered in orange. The nave and aisle bays are delineated by white pilasters, and each bay wall has a horizontal rectangular window. The pilasters are actually the outer sides of square reinforced concrete piers supporting the side beams for the roofs, and the infill walls are in brick.

The nave has a pitched and tiled roof, and the aisle and sanctuary have their own, lower single-pitched roofs. Over the join between the aisle and the sanctuary is a little campanile or bell-cote for a single bell.

The little polygonal external chapel has a pair of small round windows (oculi) in its diagonal walls.

Façade Edit

The church has an external narthex or enclosed loggia in tufa blocks with a sloping tiled roof, a round-headed portal entrance and an open rectangular aperture on each side.

Above the entrance, the narthex frontage is extended above the main narthex roofline to form a gable fronting a double pitched roof. The side wings of the narthex have their own, lower single-pitched roofs.

Behind the narthex, the main frontage of the church is a blank wall rendered in orange, with what looks like a gabled main roofline and sloping aisle rooflines. The gable is false, and the apparent aisle rooflines are the actual ones of the church's nave. Below the gable is a mosaic panel depicting The Annunciation to Our Lady.

Interior Edit

Nave Edit

The interior is as simple as the exterior, and the walls (except for the back of the sanctuary) are all in white. The inner sides of the concrete structural piers are visible as engaged pilasters, but the nave ones on the far right are free-standing for the height of the aisle beyond.

The roof is open, a wood truss job with the timber stained dark.

The left hand side chapel now has a Byzantine-style icon of Christ.

Sanctuary Edit

The altar has been brought forward, and is now free-standing on a two-stepped platform of white marble. It is a very interesting piece, with a frontal formed of pink tiles laid with the edges showing and which make up a diapered pattern. In the centre of the frontal are six little majolica panels showing Christian symbols on a blue background.

The altar was originally against the back wall, in a large shallow round-headed niche. A shelf has been left here, on which is the tabernacle (placed over to the left, not in the centre). The door has a relief of the mystical city of Jerusalem, from which is flowing the River of Life.

The far wall of the sanctuary is frescoed in a naturalistic neo-Classical style. The niche tympanum contains a choir of angels, with the text Laudamus te, glorificamus te, adoramus te. Around the niche are three panels depicting the Nativity, the Annunciation and the Crucifixion.

Liturgy Edit

Mass is celebrated:

Weekdays 9:00;

Saturdays and eves of Solemnities 19:30;

Sundays and Solemnities 9:30, 11:00, 12:30 (not summer), 19:30.

External links Edit

Official diocesan web-page

Parish website

Aerial photos

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