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San Rocco a Malagrotta

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San Rocco a Malagrotta is a former parish church in the rural hamlet of Malagrotta on the Via Aurelia. This has been bypassed, and the former main road here is now called the Via Valentini Cigliutti. This is the postal address (which used to be Via Aurelia 1465). The zone is Castel di Guido.

The dedication is to St Roch.

This church is in the municipality of Rome, but belongs to the diocese of Porto Santa Rufina.

History Edit

The hamlet is an old one, and according to Antonio Nibby writing in 1837 has its first mention as Mola rupta ("Broken Millstone") in the Camaldolese archives. The year given is 995.

The same author quotes a papal bull of Pope Innocent IV 1249 as describing the place as having two churches dedicated to Our Lady and St Apollonaris. In 1299, Pope Boniface VIII confirmed it in the possession of the monastery of San Gregorio Magno al Celio.

In Nibby's time the settlement was a farmstead with one church, and was part of the latifundia of Castel di Guido which belonged to the Barberini family. They seem to have rebuilt the complex at some stage, although documentary evidence on the present church's ancestry is rather scarce.

Whatever, the little church was made parochial by the Diocese of Porto Santa Rufina in the early Fifties, with a large parish territory which then was completely rural. It was adequate for the needs of the thin rural population then, but extensive suburban development began in the east of the parish in the Sixties.

Perhaps unfortunately, this development did not affect Malagrotta at all which remains tiny. In response, in the Seventies the Diocese decided to divide the parish into two new ones, Madonna di Fatima alla Massimilla and Corpus Domini a Massimina. The former parish church was downgraded, and attached to the former parish as a subsidiary place of worship. This it remains.

Subsequently, it served as the informal headquarters for a devotional lay confraternity called L'Ulivo. There was a restoration in 2009.

Appearance Edit

The church seems to occupy the west end of a long rectangular two-storey block, which looks 19th century. It has a gabled and hipped roof, and the restored walls are in a pale yellow with architectural details in white.

The façade has a single wide arched entrance with a pentagonal keystone having a cross on it. Above is a large round-headed window, with its top near the projecting roofline of the hip and with a slightly proud simple frame. The corners of the façade have blind pilasters. Flanking the doorway are two vertical rectangular panels with framing matching the window, and the latter is flanked by two much larger and deeper vertical rectangular recesses without frames.

The simple interior has its walls in white, with a flat wooden raftered ceiling. A little segmental apse is provided.

Liturgy Edit

According to the Diocese, Mass is celebrated on Sundays at 10:00.

External links Edit

(The church's online profile is almost non-existent.)

"Abitarearoma" article

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