Santa Maria del Terzo Millennio alle Tre Fontane is a 20th century devotional church at Via Laurentina 450 at the eastern edge of EUR, on the west side of the dual carriageway north of the junction with Viale della Musica.
The dedication is to the Blessed Virgin Mary "of the Third Millennium".
This is the church of the pilgrimage shrine of Our Lady of Revelation (Il Sanctuario della Virgine della Rivelazione). This was founded as a result of a set of visions of Our Lady to a private individual. The Church’s Magisterium has not pronounced on the validity of the apparitions, nor on the doctrine promulagted thereby.
The shrine has no connection with the Cistercian abbey of Tre Fontane across the road.
The shrine was built as a result of alleged visions of Our Lady experienced on the site by Bruno Cornacchiola (1913-2001). At the time that they occurred, he was a city tram conductor, and was apparently both an Adventist and a Communist sympathizer.
He had been a rabid anti-Catholic, but according to his testimony had been visiting the abbey with his three children in 1947 when they saw a apparition of Our Lady as a young woman holding a copy of the Bible in a natural grotto by the side of the road. As a result he converted to the Church, and made it his life's work to found a pilgrimage centre for Our Lady of Revelation at the cave.
Associated with the shrine is a congregation of sisters, the "Missionaries of Divine Revelation", who wear a distinctive and unmistakable green habit.
This is one of two Marian pilgrimage shrines in the city. The larger, grander and more popular one is Santuario della Madonna del Divino Amore, but the quiet little sanctuary here has its own popularity and is a place of great devotion even if it has no artistic interest.
AppearanceEditThe church is a low building in front of the grotto, which contains a venerated statue depicting Our Lady as she appeared in the visions. It is not really a cave, but was a niche in the rock-face overlooking the road.
A porch with a flat concrete roof and four spindly pillars stretches across the width of the frontage, and takes up half of the chapel area. The actual chapel focuses on the little grotto, which has been given a stone border and is behind the altar. The statue has a distinctive green mantle, which is the distinguishing feature of the apparitions.
The church roof is partly flat, but the central section on the axis of the entrance has a parabolic tunnel vault. The end of this over the entrance is filled with a large stained-glass window.
Those wishing to visit are advised to check the actual position of the shrine on its website (link below). Other online map providers have been giving erroneous directions.
By public transport, you get here by the 761 bus which runs between the metro stations at Laurentina and San Paolo. The shrine shares the bus stop with the Abbey of Tre Fontane.
The parking at the shrine is OK.
Mass is celebrated (unofficial source):
Weekdays 10:30, 18:30.
Sundays 9:00, 10:30, 12:00, 17:00, 18:30.
Website of the shrine (unofficial)