Santa Maria Regina Pacis a Monte Verde is a 20th century Fascist-era parish and titular church with a postal address at Via Maurizio Quadrio 21 in the suburb of Monteverde which is the northern part of the Gianicolense quarter, just on the other side of the city wall from the Villa Sciarra. The main entrance is on the Via Anton Giulio Barrili. Pictures of the church on Wikimedia Commons are here.
It may be noted that the Diocese of Rome uses the Marian title Regina Pacis which is Latin, and not Regina della Pace which is the Italian. This means "Queen of Peace".
The parish was set up in 1932, and entrusted to the Canons Regular of the Immaculate Conception. The church was designed by Tullio Rossi, and completed in the same year (although only consecrated ten years later).
It was made titular in 1969, and the present cardinal priest is Francisco Álvarez Martínez.
Layout and fabric Edit
This is a rather typical large neo-Romanesque church of the period, in pink brick with a few stone details. There is an external loggia, followed by a short entrance bay. Then comes a nave of seven bays with side aisles, followed by a three-sided apse for the sanctuary.
The upper nave walls have large round-headed windows, one on each side for each bay making a total of fourteen. These windows have geometric stone fenestration or transennae.
The tiled central nave roof is integral with that of the apse, which has three triangular pitches. The lower aisle roofs are flat. The entrance bay has its own higher pitched roof.
The separate campanile is on the far right hand side, and is a simple square brick tower with a large round-headed sound-hole in each side of the bell-chamber and a tiled pyramidal cap having slightly recessed eaves.
The two-storey façade has an external loggia attached, with a single-pitched tiled roof. The frontage of this has five portal arches, in simple brickwork. The wide piers in between the arches are each embellished with a very thin blind brick pilaster, running up to a stone frieze below the roofline (there is no proper entablature). This has a simple dedicatory inscription: B[eatae] Mariae, immaculatae reginae pacis, AD MCMXLII. The year given is that of the consecration.
The two arches flanking the central one have low blocking walls, but the far pair give access to side entrances at the bottoms of the aisles. The entrance arches have attractive curlicued wrought iron gates, the central one including a relief medallion showing the Madonna and Child. These are much older than the church, being 18th century and originally at the demolished Santa Maria delle Grazie a Porta Angelica.
The second storey above the loggia roof starts with an attic plinth, with flat-roofed extension on either side which cover staircases to the organ gallery. The central nave frontage is in blank brickwork, with a large central shallowly recessed round-headed panel containing a rectangular window. In the recess above the window is a stone relief showing the coat-of-arms of Pope Pius XI.
The central nave is separated from the side aisles by arcades supported by square piers revetted in what looks like grey marble. These have imposts, but no capitals. The archivolts are without decoration, in white. Above each arch is a large round-headed window near the ceiling, with geometric stone mullions.
In between the archivolts and windows down each side is a fresco frieze showing events from the life of Our Lady, on a blue background.
The side aisles end in altars dedicated to the Transfiguration and St Joseph, and the paintings above these were executed in 1944 by Cleto Luzzi.
The entrance bay contains the organ gallery, borne by a horizontal concrete beam supported by a pair of unadorned square concrete piers. There is a floating balcony, and over the organ is a stained glass window depicting Our Lady of the Angels.
The ceiling is in unpainted transverse planking, bent into a slight curve.
At the bottom left is the former baptistery (the font is now near the high altar), and off the right hand aisle is an external chapel dedicated to SS Rita, Cecilia and Teresa.
The apse is dominated by a mosaic of Our Lady enthroned in majesty with the Christ-child and accompanied by saints. It is in a rather naturalistic Byzantine style, with a free use of gilded tesserae, and is by Odoardo Anselmi. The adult proportions of the Child are according to ancient iconographic tradition, but Our Lady's smile is not.
The saints are not labelled by name, but by the titles which occur in the Litany of Loreto: Regina patriarcharum (King David), regina prophetarum (Isaiah), regina apostolorum (St John the Evangelist), regina martyrum (St Stephen), regina confessorum, (Pope St Pius X), regina virginum (St Agnes?).
Mass is celebrated:
Weekdays 7:00, 9:00, 18:30;
Sundays and Solemnities 7:30, 9:00, 10:30, 12:00, 18:30.
The parish website is "http://reginapacismonteverde.it" As at October 2015, it is flagged as being compromised.