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San Gregorio Settimo

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San Gregorio Settimo

English name: St Gregory VII
Dedication: Pope St Gregory VII
Denomination: Roman Catholic
Type: Titular church
Clergy: Franciscans
Architect(s): Mario Paniconi, Giulio Pediconi
Contact data
Address: 4 Via del Cottolengo (Via Gregorio VII)
00165 Roma
Phone: 06 63 17 09
Homepage: Official Site

San Gregorio VII (San Gregorio Settimo) is a modern parish and titular church dedicated to Pope Gregory VII Hildebrand, the famous reforming pope of the 11th century. The postal address is at Via di Cottolengo 4, just off the Via Gregorio VII to the south of Vatican City. This is near the San Pietro train station, and in the Aurelio district. The main entrance is, however, on the Via Gregorio VII. Pictures of the church at Wikimedia Commons.[1]


This parish church was completed in 1959, and its decoration finished 1960-1961. It was provided for a parish erected by Pope Pius XII in 1952. The architects were Mario Paniconi and Giulio Pediconi.

The title was established in 1969 by Pope Paul VI. The first titular was H.E. Eugênio de Araújo Sales (died 2012).

The parish is served by the Franciscan Friars Minor.


The plan is rectangular, with a nave and an attached external porch. The church has an interesting construction. The roof is held up by ten large reinforced concrete piers on each side and four at front and back, with two piers on each corner, and is structurally independent of the walls. The piers project outwards, and have been given a slight batter. The walls end before they reach the roof, and the space between them is filled with glass. The piers where they cross the glass do not have any concrete cladding, only the steel reinforcing, giving the first impression that the strip of glass window is continuous. There is another window strip a third of the way up the side walls, with a concrete string course above, but this strip is broken by the piers. The exterior walls themselves are in red brick, decorated with horizontal stripes of red infill. Above the lower window strip each wall panel in between the piers is decorated with a thin white cross as well.

The entrance façade has the same design, except that the lower window strip is replaced by the large white concrete entrance porch, stretching across the width of the frontage. This has a flat roof and a tall fascia, and is supported by a pair of concrete pillars at the corners. The fascia has nine square panels, the central one bearing a mosaic of the risen Christ and the others decorated with an X. The gable is decorated with thin diagonal concrete struts which divide the triangular area into three triangles, then two squares and on top a square. The panels between the struts are filled with a orange cement grids which match the brickwork in colour, and in which the holes are little squares arranged as lozenges.

The roof has a steep pitch, and has a total of eighteen dormer gables, nine on each side. Along each side roofline is a line of five small gables over every other exterior wall panel. Above these is a row of four larger gables, placed above the gaps between the smaller ones. The effect is rather spectacular. The vertical faces in these gables are filled with the same sort of concrete grille as in the main entrance gable.


The roof inside is open, and trussed with concrete beams.

Hanging over the bottom of the flight of steps leading up to the altar is a bronze Calvary, showing Christ crucified with Our Lady and St John in attendance. This is by Pericle Fazzini. Either side of the stairs and on the wall behind the altar is a series of ten fresco panels by Luigi Montanarini, the central one depicting the apotheosis of the patron saint. There is also an icon of the Madonna and Child being venerated by St Gregory VII and St Francis, which has the title of "Madonna del Gelsomino" or "Our Lady of Jasmine" from the bush in front of her.

In the crypt is a set of reliefs depicting of the Life of St Francis in an unusual stone inlay technique.

External linksEdit

Official diocesan web-page

Italian Wikipedia page

Parish website

Aerial photos

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