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Santa Maria Annunziata delle Monache Celesti

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Santa Maria Annunziata delle Monache Celesti is the mid 20th century church of the convent at Via Portuense 771, in the suburb of Corviale which is part of the Gianicolense suburban zone.

The dedication is to the Blessed Virgin Mary, under the aspect of her Annunciation.

History Edit

The convent was built in 1939 as a final permanent home for the community of Annunciation nuns who had been expelled from their old convent on the Esquiline, Santa Maria Annunziata delle Turchine, in 1872.

The nuns belong to the Order of the Most Holy Annunciation, nicknamed in English the “Blue Nuns” after the colour of their habits. This order of enclosed contemplative nuns was founded in Genoa by Blessed Mary-Victoria Fornari Strata in 1604, and the Roman convent had been founded in 1676 by Princess Camilla Orsini Borghese, who became the superior there. The Augustinian rule was followed. Beware of confusion with the French Order of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, known as Annonciades.

They nowadays prefer being called Celesti, sky-blue, instead of their old Italian nickname ofTurchine, turquoise, because the latter also means "Turkish".

Appearance Edit

The convent has a presence on the main road, on the left hand side as you drive or take a bus out of the city. It consists of one edifice, compactly arranged around a square cloister which you cannot visit, since this is an enclosed order of nuns.

From the street, you can see the northern corner of the cloister ranges. There is an L-shaped entrance loggia, and to the right of this is the frontage of the church which is in peeling dull orange render. It consists of a blank gabled wall, with a tondo at the level of the side rooflines which contains a majolica representation of the Annunciation. The short arm of the L of the entrance loggia occupies the entrance.

The nave has five bays, with a large round-headed window in each bay facing the street. A small campanile is perched on the roof ridge of the nave, consisting of a pair of arches side by side under a rectangular tiled cap.

The nuns' website has a photo of the interior, which is very simple and all in white. The ceiling is a barrel vault, with lunette embrasures over the side wall windows.

External links Edit

Official diocesan web-page

Website of the nuns

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