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Santa Maria Addolorata dei Neofiti

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Santa Maria Addolorata dei Neofiti is a small deconsecrated early 19th century oratory at Via Baccina 58/A, north of Via Cavour and near the parish church of Santa Maria dei Monti in the rione Monti.

It is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary under her aspect of Our Lady of Sorrows, but was originally dedicated to St John the Baptist.

HistoryEdit

This little edifice was founded in 1634 for the use of women converts to Christianity who were attending the Collegio dei Neofiti, founded for such people (mostly Jews and Muslims) in 1543. The building it took over was originally a grain warehouse. The men converts used San Salvatore ai Monti, and the oratory and the two churches occupy three corners of a city block. It is unclear why it was thought important to segregate the sexes at the time.

From 1713, the three churches became the responsibility of the Pia Opera dei Catacumeni e dei Neofiti, which had as its justification the performance of various charitable activities. From then on, this edifice was merely a devotional oratory which was administered by the Arciconfraternita dell'Addolorata which changed the dedication.

In 1826, one of the confraternity members called Emanuele Marini oversaw a project to rebuild it as part of a larger commercial development of a three-storey building. The new oratory occupied the ground floor, and had its own façade. The architect was Morichini.

The property was sequestered in 1873, and the oratory deconsecrated shortly afterwards. It remains intact, and is now owned by the city.

AppearanceEdit

The plan is a straightforward rectangle.

There is a simple neo-Classical façade, comprising two pairs of Doric pilasters in shallow relief supporting an entablature crowned by a massive triangular pediment with a blank tympanum. The architrave of the entablature has three moldings, and the cornice projects.

The entrance has a simple doorcase, above which is a raised floating cornice. Above this in turn is a dedicatory tablet, which intrudes into the entablature and reads In Honorem B[eatae] Mariae Perdolentis.

External linksEdit

Italian Wikipedia page

"Romeartlover" web-page

"Roma Segreta" web-page

Nolli map (look for 136)

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