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Sant'Atanasio a Via Tiburtina

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Sant’Atanasio a Via Tiburtina is a mid 20th century parish and titular church at Via Achille Benedetti 11, in the Pietralata quarter north of the Via Tiburtina and east of the Tiburtina train station. Pictures of the church on Wikimedia Commons are here. An English Wikipedia page is here.

The dedication is to St Athanasius of Alexandria. (Don't confuse this church with Sant'Atanasio a Via del Babuino.)

History Edit

The parish was established in 1961, and the permanent church built immediately (which does not always happen in Rome). It was designed by Ernesto Vichi, and completed in the same year.

The cardinalate was established in 1991, and the present cardinal priest is Gabriel Zubeir Wako.

ExteriorEdit

The church is located on a courtyard set back from the street, and access is via a rather Brutalist gateway consisting of a large, thin concrete slab set low on two rectangular brick kiosks.

The plan has been described as a Greek cross, but is actually a square with smaller squares, each being one eighth of the total width, cut out of the corners. The roof is very slightly pitched either side of the major axis, so that there is a shallow gable over the entrance.

The exterior walls have three horizontal zones, the main lower one built with pinkish blocks and with certain individual blocks being laid in relief so as to form a diaper pattern (which is a very typical architectural detail of the date). Above this is a double row of horizontal rectangular clear glass windows, and then the rest to the roof is metal cladding in grey, now rather stained. In the middle of each row of windows is inserted a vertical stained glass window, except over the altar where there is no row of windows and the vertical window is higher, just below the roofline.

The attached entrance porch is a box in the same style, except that it has doors instead of the pinkish wall and the roof is flat.

The only thing worth more than a glance as regards the exterior is the campanile, which is in the form of a cross made up of massive steel girders painted a dull red.

InteriorEdit

The rather plain white interior has been enlivened by the recent addition of mosaic panels on the wall around and above the altar, which depict religious symbols. There are twelve of these, in a rather impressionistic style and surrounded by spangly numinous borders which look at a distance like yellow paint chucked at the wall.

Behind the altar, in a small segmental apse, is a charming fresco in a rather naive figurative style, showing the Marriage of Cana with the majority of the figures in traditional dress but the bridegroom and one other in modern suit and tie.

The baptismal font, to the right of the altar, is a notable work by the Hungarian sculptor Amerigo Tot with a travertine bowl and a bronze cover featuring St John the Baptist. He is also responsible for a representation of Our Lady of Csurgó (an old town in Hungary).

There are two side altars. The one to the right is dedicated to St Athanasius, and has a statue of him. The one to the left is dedicated to the Assumption of Our Lady, and has a 17th century Venetian picture as the altarpiece.

There are four stained glass windows, depicting St Athanasius, The Holy Spirit, The Body of Christ in the Eucharist and The Precious Blood.

The interior is of no interest architecturally.

Access Edit

The church is not very near the Via Tiburtina. It is a shortish walk from the Quintiliani metro station, but bus 449 from the Monti Tiburtini metro station passes the gate.

Liturgy Edit

Mass is celebrated:

Weekdays 7:30 to 18:00;

Sundays and Solemnities 7:30, 9:00, 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 18:00.

In July and August, there is a daily Mass at 18:30 and additionally Masses on Sundays at 7:30 and 11:00.

On First Fridays there is Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament from 8:00 to 17:30 (18:00 in July and August).

External linksEdit

Official diocesan web-page

Italian Wikipedia page

Parish website

Info.roma web-page

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