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San Giuseppe da Copertino

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San Giuseppe da Copertino is a mid 20th century parish church at Via dei Genieri 12, in the quarter of Giuliano Dalmata to the south-east of EUR and just east of the Via Laurentina.

The dedication is to St Joseph of Cupertino, and this church is a centre of veneration of him in Rome.

History Edit

The church was opened in 1956, originally as the first parish church of San Marco in Agro Laurentino.

However, a new church on a different site was opened for that parish in 1972, and the old one became a dependency.

It was finally established as a parish church again in 1979, and the dedication changed. This was because the new parish was initially put in charge of a community of Franciscan Conventuals from Padua, who established a convent adjacent -St Joseph had been one of this Order. However, they gave it up in 2001 and the parish is now run by diocesan clergy.

The church was made titular in 2015, and the first cardinal priest is José Luis Lacunza Maestrojuán.

Exterior Edit

The church has no civic presence, and is not easy to find. From the street there is visible the undistinguished two-storey gabled red brick convent block next to a sports ground, with a single-storey annexe to the right. A stone plaque on the latter announces the parish, and points the way to the church down a wide path next to the annexe.

Down here is the frontage of the single-storey entrance lobby, up a set of five steps. It is in red brick having a large doorway with a thin stone doorcase, above which is a pitched and tiled floating canopy occupying the entire width of the frontage. There is a horizontal stone frieze above the canopy with a dedicatory inscription, and matching stone strips at the corners. Above the frieze is a screen wall with a low gable, cut by a deep slot into which is inserted a metal cross. At the bottom of the slot, and touching the frieze, is a decorative device of a yellow semi-circle bearing a cross (looking like the representation of a bowl).

This frontage does not belong to the church edifice, which is entered on the right beyond the door. This has a octagonal plan, with the octagon stretched along the major axis and with the side angles very obtuse. There is a concrete frame with piers at the corners and beams at the rooflines with window strips below, and infilling in red brick. The roof is in four pitches, and is tiled.

There is a view of the back of the church from the Via Laurentina, although trees get in the way.

The rather crazy campanile is on the left hand side of the church, the other side from the entrance lobby, and is a steel scaffolding tower painted in red with two bells in the top.

Interior Edit

The interior has bare brick walls, with stained glass in the deep window strips below the roofline in the diagonal walls. The open roof dominates, with eight enormous slab beams dividing it into triangular sectors.

The sanctuary has been recently provided with a high quality set of furnishings, comprising an altar, president's chair, tabernacle and lectern in polychrome stonework featuring white, red and yellow. The altar and tabernacle have embossed metal decorations.

Behind the main altar is an attractive Calvary, formed by hanging a traditional wooden crucifix (with painted stucco corpus) in front of a painting of a colourful and realistic background scene. Our Lady with SS John the Baptist and Mary Magdalen are present as is traditional, but also here are SS Francis, Joseph of Cupertino and Pope John Paul II. The figures front depictions of Rome and some of its churches, with lowering clouds. St Joseph is shown levitating, for which he was famous. This work was inaugurated in 2014.

To the right is an altar dedicated to Our Lady, and to the left one to St Anthony of Padua.

Relics of St Joseph of Cupertino are venerated here in an attractive modern reliquary, and there is a good modern statue of him.

Access Edit

The church is open:

Daily 7:45 to 12:30, and from 16:00 to 19:30.

Liturgy Edit

The up-to-date schedule of Masses and other liturgical celebrations is to be found on the parish website here.

The Solemnity of St Joseph of Cupertino is on 18 September.

External links Edit

Official diocesan web-page

Italian Wikipedia page

Parish website

Info.roma web-page (the aerial view is not of the church.)

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