San Giovanni Leonardi is a mid 20th century parish and convent church at Via della Cicogna 2, in the zone of Torre Maura which is to the south-west of the junction between the Via Casilina and the Grande Raccordo Anulare (Circonvallazione Orientale).
The dedication is to St John Leonardi.
The parish was set up in 1951 and put into the care the Clerks Regular of the Mother of God, whose founder the parish's patron saint John Leonardi was. He is enshrined at Santa Maria in Campitelli, where the congregation has its headquarters.
The church was designed by Tullio Rossi, and completed in 1956. Oddly, the Diocese gives the year of consecration as 1991 which, if it's not a mistake, indicates either that someone forgot originally or that the financial arrangements to pay for the building were unsound.
Layout and fabric Edit
This is a rectangular building on a basilical plan, having a central nave of five bays with narrow structural side aisles. There is a attached rectangular apse of almost the same width as the nave, but of less height. A wing of this runs behind the sanctuary.
Attached to the left hand side is the convent, with a narrow rectangular cloister or courtyard next to the left hand aisle.
There is a small tower campanile attached to the far right hand corner of the nave, next to the sanctuary. This has a large round-headed sound-holes on each side of the bell-chamber, and a saddleback (double-pitched) tiled cap.
The fabric is in brick, rendered in pinkish red on the walls away from the façade. The aisle walls are blank, but each of the central nave side walls above these has a row of five large vertical rectangular windows within sloping recessed frames. The roofs are pitched and tiled, the apse one having a single pitch which is also hipped.
The simple gabled façade is rendered in a pale pink, with an external porch with a gable matching the main one above and an open archway for an entrance. The corners of this, the aisles and also the vertical edges of the main nave are tricked out in white .There is a circular recessed window with a white frame above the porch. Three thin white decorative strips climb from the top of this window and the outer corners of the porch to the gabled roofline.
There is a fine statue in marble of St John Leonardi to the right of the entrance.
The side walls of the nave have an arcade of three arches on each side leading into the side aisles, these corresponding to the second to fourth bays of the five-bay nave. The first and fifth bays have cuboidal recesses in lieu of arches. These arches are entirely simple, without imposts, and have their intradoses in white which matches the interior aisle surfaces.
The middle arch on the right has a statue of Our Lady of Lourdes, and the one on the left has a statue of the Sacred Heart.
Above the arches is a floating cornice, and a second one is above this just below the row of five large rectangular windows. The fronts of the arch piers are painted to resemble pink marble pilasters rising up the roofline and crossed by the cornices. The spandrels of the arches are painted with vine-scrolls, and above each arch is painted a large blank black-framed panel on a faux-yellow marble background. These obviously were intended for frescoes which were never executed.
The round window in the counterfaçade and the nave side windows have stained glass.
The sanctuary apse has a triumphal arch, decorated to the sides and above with a large and impressive fresco depicting Christ in Majesty with Saints.
The back wall of the apse has a large round-headed niche containing a painting depicting St John Leonardi Founding the Clerks Regular. This looks 19th century.
Mass is celebrated, at least in winter:
Weekdays 8:30 (not Mondays), 18:30;
Sundays and Solemnities 7:30, 9:00, 10:15, 11:45, 18:30.
(The church's online profile is not very good.)