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Santa Maria Mater Misericordiae a Via Latina

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Santa Maria Mater Misericordiae a Via Latina is a mid 20th century convent church at Via Latina 28, in the Appio Latino quarter. A picture of the church on Wikimedia Commons is here.

Name Edit

The dedication is to the Blessed Virgin Mary, under the aspect of "Mother of Mercy".

The church is sometimes referred to as Santa Caterina da Siena, but this is now incorrect.

History Edit

The convent here was initially established in 1953 as a retirement home for its old sisters by the Hospitaller Sisters of Mercy (Suore Ospedaliere della Misericordia). This nursing congregation was itself founded in the city in 1821 by a Roman noblewoman, Teresa Orsini Doria Pamphilj Landi.

The project for a retirement home was soon superseded by one for a clinic and convalescent facility serving the developing suburb.

In 1971 the parish of Santa Caterina da Siena was established, but the preferred site for its permanent church proved unsuitable. In response, the sisters allowed the parish to use the convent church for its liturgical activities. This arrangement continued until 2013, when the new church of Santa Caterina da Siena a Via Populonia was finally built.

The clinic has its own little internal chapel which is available to patients and residents but public Mass is still being said in the church daily for the sisters, and because the area is cut off from the parish church by a busy main road.

Exterior Edit

Layout and fabric Edit

This edifice looks much older than it actually is, since it is in a rather severe neo-Romanesque style. The plan is basilical, A nave without aisles of three bays is followed by a transept just slightly wider than the nave, and then by a singe-bay sanctuary. There is a little three-sided apse, and the transept ends have little side chapels in segmental apses.

The fabric is in bare pinkish grey brick. The side walls have two storeys separated by a narrow string course. Each nave bay has two windows, a tall round-headed one in a slightly sunken rectangular panel below the string course, and a shorter round-headed one above it. The bays are separated by blind pilasters running up to a projecting cornice. The transept ends each have an arcade of three round-headed windows above the string course, and the same feature is repeated in the far wall of the sanctuary above the apse.

The pitched and tiled roof runs in one sweep from the façade to the far sanctuary wall.

Façade Edit

The façade is of two storeys, the first one being taller. The corners of this storey have large rectangular white-painted pilasters, without any decoration, supporting a narrow string course also in white (this is the same string course as runs around the exterior).

The entrance has above it a large tympanum framed by an arch in relief supported by corbels and containing a relief sculpture of the Madonna and Child being adored by angels. The second storey has a row of three arched windows on the string course, the two separating brick pillars of these having stone cushion capitals. The façade is topped by a classically correct blank triangular pediment in white but enclosing more brick.

Interior Edit

The writer has not visited the interior, and details on it are hard to come by.

Liturgy Edit

Mass is celebrated on weekdays at 6:20, and on Sundays and Solemnities at 8:30. The former is intended for the sisters, and the latter also for local residents.

External links Edit

Website of sisters

Beweb web-page

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