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Sant'Elisabetta delle Bigie

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Sant'Elisabetta delle Bigie is a mid 20th century convent and public chapel at Via Marsico Nuovo 35 in the suburb of Statuario in the Appio-Claudio quarter.

The dedication is to St Elizabeth of Hungary.

History Edit

The convent is the Generalate (headquarters) of the Elizabethine Franciscan Sisters -Suore Francescane Elisabettine. They are easily confused with the Suore Terziarie Francescane Elisabettine, who also have a presence in Rome and so even the Diocese refers to them by their nickname of Bigie.

The congregation was founded in Naples by Bl Ludovico of Casoria in 1864, and finally received papal approval in 1943. The sisters wear a grey habit in honour of St Elizabeth, who dressed like that (she was a Franciscan Tertiary), and hence the nickname of bigie from bigio "grey".

The large convent was built after 1943, and also houses a school called the Istituto Sant'Elisabetta.

Appearance Edit

The chapel is part of the main convent building, but has its own architectural identity. It has a single nave on the plan of a very short rectangle (almost square) with a deep semi-circular apse as a sanctuary. The roofs of both are flat, with parapets, and the apse stands proud of the convent accommodation that surrounds it.

The fabric is in naked pink brick. The left hand nave side wall faces the Via Bisignano, and has three large recessed vertical rectangular panels in a horizontal row. The middle one contains two round-headed windows each with stone fenestration in the form of a Greek cross. The apse wall has three such windows, on both sides of the apse.

The roofline has strongly projecting eaves in concrete.

The façade is in blank brick, enlivened by two stripes created by laying a row of bricks vertically. There are three zones. The two side zones at the corners are narrow, blank and slightly recessed. The central zone has a false gable at a slight angle (the roof is flat behind it), with the crowning eaves set at a step higher than on either side.

There is a projecting concrete string course running across the central zone about halfway up, and the single entrance door is fitted below this. Above the door, on the string course, lie two horizontal beams with the top one shorter and bearing a concrete Latin cross. Two pairs of round-headed windows in the same style as elsewhere are also above the string course, at each side of the central zone and widely separated.

There is a pretty shrine of Our Lady on the corner of the street, featuring a polychrome mosaic depiction of her.

Liturgy Edit

There is a public Mass at 9:00 on Sundays and Solemnities.

External links Edit

Info.roma web-page

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