The congregation transferred its Generalate (headquarters) to Rome in 1901 in response to anti-clerical action on the part of the government of Émile Combes, and was suppressed in France in 1904. The policy of the government was to exclude Catholic religious from public education.
Initially the Generalate was here on the Via Flaminia, and the sisters also opened a large ladies' college called the Istituto Stella Viae at Via Nomentana 325 -see Cappella del Collegio Stella Viae. However, this situation has been reversed. Nowadays, the Via Flaminia convent is the provincial headquarters and has a large school called the Istituto Gesù Maria. The Generalate is at the Via Nomentana convent, and the school there has been closed.
Layout and fabricEdit
The church has a nave with side aisles, of five bays, and an apsed sanctuary. There is an additional entrance bay which is structurally distinct.
This is rather a hulking building, unusually sited side-on to the main road. Also unusually for Rome the church is in the Gothic style, in red brick with architectural details in limestone.
The nave bays are marked off in both central and side aisle exterior walls by blind brick pilasters. Each bay has a large lancet window in the side aisle wall, and a smaller such window in the central nave wall above. The roofs are pitched and tiled, and there are brick buttresses to the central nave walls rising from the side aisle walls between the bays.
The apse is polygonal, with five sides. The diagonal ones are narrower, and each has a lancet window. The back wall has an arcade of three lancets. The roof here is at two levels, as the apse proper joins onto the nave via a super-apse also of five sides and with a slightly higher roof.
A pair of side chapels, continuations of the side aisles, flank the apse and each has a side lancet window but no back window.
The façade is odd. What would be two Gothic church towers if standing alone are incorporated into the façade, and are lower than the central frontage. They are called "towers" in the description below for the sake of convenience.
These square towers are at the corners of the entrance bay, and have two tall storeys. The corners of the towers have stone trim, including where they join onto the side aisle walls and central frontage. The first storey of each tower has a lancet window in its two exposed faces, and is as tall as the side aisle adjacent. It is separated from the second storey by a cornice. The latter storey has a two-light Gothic window on each exposed face, and is as high as the central nave wall. However, it is topped by a balustrade and four tall pinnacles which are higher. The balustrade sits on a projecting cornice, below which are arcades of pendant Gothic arches in stone.
The central frontage has two storeys, separated by a continuation of the cornices separating the tower storeys. The first storey contains the single entrance, which is a Gothic arch below a stone gable. The second storey has an enormous stone Gothic archivolt set in the brickwork, springing from the lower corners next to the towers and reaching as high as their balustrade cornices. This arch encloses a large wheel window.
The gable of the central frontage rises above this arch. It is decorated by a continuation of the combined balustrade, cornice and pendant arches from the tops of the towers on each side. A final whimisical design feature is that the tip of the gable is occupied by a Gothic baldacchino, with four columns supporting a canopy with a little flèche spire. This baldacchino contains a statue of Our Lady.
The writer has not been in this church, and online descriptions or photos seem to be lacking.
Bus number 32 from Ottaviani metro station passes the church.