Santa Maria del Rosario di Pompei alla Magliana is an early 20th century subsidiary parish church at Piazza della Madonna di Pompei 4, on the Via Portuense in the suburb of Magliana and opposite the Magliana train station. This is part of the Portuense suburban zone. Pictures of the church on Wikimedia Commons are here.
The dedication is to the Blessed Virgin Mary, under her special title of Our Lady of Pompei. This refers to a famous Marian shrine near the ruined city of Pompeii -spelt Pompei in Italian, hence the use of this spelling in the name of the church and for anything to do with the shrine.
The locality should really be called Stazione di Magliana, since the station was the first edifice here when it was opened with the railway to Fiumicino in 1878. The old rural settlement, now called Magliana Vecchia, is some distance away.
The church was begun in 1909, when the locality was still rural. The parish was founded in 1915, and the church was completed in the same year.
Major suburban development took place after the Second World War, much of it illegal. The suburb that resulted had a proletarian character in the later 20th century, and was unfortunately marred by criminality (see Banda della Magliana).
There was a restoration in the Fifties, including the provision of a new façade.
The edifice functioned as a parish church until replaced by Santa Maria del Rosario ai Martiri Portuensi in 2007. The church was then passed on to the Missionary Sisters of St Charles Borromeo -Suore Missionarie di San Carlo Borromeo (Scalabriniane per I Migranti), but these gave it up after about five years.
So, briefly the church's future was in jeopardy but the parish decided to keep it as a subsidiary Mass centre instead of abandoning it as originally expected. It has also been listed as a building of historic interest, valued as a central focus for a suburb which has been improving its fortunes.
There has been a recent restoration and re-fitting of the interior.
Layout and fabric Edit
This is a small rectangular building, having a single nave followed by a tiny rectangular apse. The priest's house is attached to the right hand side wall.
The edifice has a pitched and tiled roof, and exterior walls in square-cut travertine blocks. On top of the party wall separating the two is the campanile, comprising a slab crowned by a triangular pediment and containing two round-headed apertures side by side.
The church is on a corner site, and is unusual in having two entrance façades.
The original one is along the left hand side, and features six brick Doric pilasters supporting an entablature below the roofline, with the entablature over the central four pilasters brought slightly forward. There used to be a large triangular pediment over this section, but that has been removed. A pair of round-headed windows flanks the inner four pilasters, and the central entrance has its own triangular pediment.
The church stands over a revetting wall next to the roadway, and this entrance is approached by a pair of longitudinal staircases leading to a patio.
The present entrance façade, at the near end of the church, was completed in the mid 20th century. The design of the side façade is imitated, except that there are four pilasters supporting a triangular pediment. The cornice of the latter is broken by the insertion of a rectangular window, which looks incongruous but the window was there first. Above the pediment is a low attic following the slopes of the triangle.
The simple little interior has been re-fitted recently.
The two round-headed windows in the left hand side wall are matched by only one in the far end of the right hand wall, because of the priest's house being next to the church on this side.
A Carrara marble dado protects the walls, above which the wall surfaces are in a pale yellow
The small sanctuary apse has a tall triumphal arch in white, with simple piers having imposts and a molded semi-circular archivolt. The imposts meld with a string course which runs around the nave interior, but not the apse. Above this string course the walls and roof interior are painted in a vivid mango yellow. The roof is papered over its batten boards, and has triangular transverse trusses which are also painted.
The actual sanctuary now occupies the far end of the nave as well as the apse.
New, high-quality sanctuary furnishings have been provided, in white limestone with many of the flat surfaces pecked so as to appear rough. From left to right, these comprise the base for a large polychrome statue of the Madonna and Child, an acolyte's chair next to the left hand arch pier, the altar and the lectern or ambo. The ensemble also includes three chairs for the ministers in the back of the apse.
The apse now houses the tabernacle above the central chair, which has a chased bronze door flanked by green marble panels. This is within a screen of pink marble slabs, itself flanked by two screens slightly further back which are in grey-veined Carrara marble, in long vertical slabs and with angled tops sloping up to two points either side of a smallish traditional crucifix. Above this ensemble is a copy of the famous icon of Our Lady of Pompei, which is often to be seen in Roman churches. The two saints with Our Lady are SS Dominic and Catherine of Siena.
Mass is celebrated (parish website, June 2018):
Weekdays 18:00 (not July or August, except Saturdays);
Sundays and Solemnities 9:00.
There is Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament from 17:00 to 18:00 on Thursdays.