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Sant'Ignazio di Antiochia

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Sant'Ignazio d'Antiochia is mid 20th century parish church, with a postal address at Via Squillace 3 in the suburb of Statuario in the Appio-Claudio quarter. However, the main entrance is on the Via Appia Nuova and overlooks the Parco Regionale Appia Antica.

The patron saint is Ignatius of Antioch.


The parish was set up in 1952.

The church was designed by Tullio Rossi, and completed in 1957.

Exterior Edit

Layout and fabric Edit

The church has the plan of a single rectangular nave of five bays, followed by a sanctuary of a single bay which is a little narrower. This has an integral three-sided apse.

A structural aisle is attached to the left hand side, which contains three chapels. However, abutted to the right hand side is what amounts to a small convent of three wings around a central courtyard (this is a design feature of Rossi's churches, even though this one has always been in the care of the diocese).

The exterior walls are in blank red brick. Each bay, both of sanctuary and nave, has a row of three round-headed in each side wall giving a total of thirty-six such windows.

The roofs are pitched and tiled. The sanctuary roof is lower than that of the nave, and has three triangular pitches for the apse.

There is a campanile attached to the left hand side of the façade, at the bottom of the side aisle. This is a massive transversely rectangular brick tower, with two round-headed sound-holes side by side in each long face of the bell-chamber. There is a gabled and tiled cap.

Façade Edit

The church stands back from the street, fronting a small piazza paved in grey slabs with two mature evergreen oak trees. The entrances are approached by a flight of eight steps, which hint at a crypt.

The plain façade is all in red brick, except for a limestone foundation plinth. It has three rectangular entrances, the middle one larger than the other two, and the doors of these are recessed within sloping frames. The entrances are in a shallow entrance lobby which is otherwise closed off from the outside, and the wall of which melds with that of the campanile to the left.

The flat-roofed lobby has its roof brought forward as a floating canopy with a deep concrete fascia having a dedicatory inscription on it in golden mosaic: D. O. M. in hon[ore] S. Ignatii Antioch[iensis] AD MCMLVII

Above the canopy is a row of three more round-headed windows, in a central zone which is slightly brought forward with respect to the blank walling on either side. Below the middle window is a marble relief plaque with the heraldry of Pope Pius XII.

Above the windows is a white marble statue of the risen Christ as Redeemer, in a shallow rectangular niche. On the apex of the gable is a very odd white stone structure sheltering the statue, comprising a horizontal rectangular slab supported by four brackets with incurved faces.


Nave Edit

The interior is simply painted overall in a pale yellow. The ceiling is a very shallowly curved barrel vault, with a lunette over each window triplet. The vault springs from gigantic pilasters marking the divisions of the bays, four on each side with four more very thin ones fitted into the corners of the nave. They are revetted in what looks like yellow marble (is it?). The three chapels on the left are entered through unadorned round-headed portals, and the bay side walls without chapels each have a large blind round-headed niche at ground level with a gently curved top.

The total of thirty-nine windows have stained glass, each one depicting a saint. They are by Laura Redini Giuliani. Each bay has three high up near the vault on each side, and below each set is a large blank panel which looks as if it was to have been frescoed.

The Stations of the Cross are by Alessandro Monteleone.

Sanctuary Edit

In a re-ordering towards the end of the 20th century, the altar was brought forward to stand in the last bay of the nave. It was replaced in the apse by a curved stone bench for the liturgical ministers, having a round-backed chair in pole position for the principal celebrant.

The original altarpiece was left in place. It is a mosaic panel by Gilda Nagni and Franco d'Urso, depicting the Madonna and Child with St Ignatius and an angel. The epigraph reads: Frumentum Christi sum, bestiarum dentibus molar, ut mundus panis inveniar Christi ("I am the grain of Christ, I shall be ground by the teeth of wild animals so that I may be found to be pure bread of Christ"). This is a quotation from the letter written to the church at Rome by St Ignatius when he was on the way to be martyred there.

The mosaic is flanked by organ-pipes. In front of the set to the right is a framed painting of The Martyrdom of St Ignatius, showing him about to receive special attention from a pair of lions in the Colosseum (actually, his martyrdom is unrecorded so this scene is a surmise.)

The bronze crucifix to the left is by Francesco Nagni.

The sanctuary's triumphal arch is completely undecorated, with a gently curving archivolt. It is flanked by two more mosaics, St Joseph and the Christ-child to the left and The Crucifixion to the right.

Liturgy Edit

Church Edit

Mass is celebrated:

Weekdays 7:30, 18:00 (19:00 in summer);

Sundays and Solemnities 8:00, 10:00 (not summer), 11:30 (11:00 in summer), 18:00 (19:00 in summer).

"Summer here is July and August.

External Mass centres Edit

The parish now has one dependent chapel used for public Masses:

Sant'Elisabetta delle Bigie

The former chapel of San Giuseppe a Dragona, at Via Ippolito Desideri 94, has been closed down. It was a room in an apartment block.

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