Santissimo Crocifisso alla Stazione Termini is the 20th century church (not a chapel) in the main railway station at Rome. The actual station edifice is in the rione Esquilino.
The dedication is to the Holy Cross. (According to some railway workers, this is because of the way the railway tracks cross over each other in the throat of the station. This is an example of what is called an Urban Legend .)
The station was one of Rome's two railway termini all the way through the Railway Age (compare London, which had fifteen), and was to be rebuilt for the Esposizione universale 1942. This was to have been a major international exhibition extolling the achivements of Fascist Italy, but unfortunately the Second World War got in the way. So, the Fascists managed to demolish the 19th century station (they were good at demolitions in Rome), but did not manage to do any building here.
The other terminus was Rome Piazzale Flaminio.
An impressive and enormous new terminal station was erected by 1950, which does credit to the Italians at a time when (for example) the British were still to endure rationing of basic foodstuffs for another four years despite (allegedly) winning the war.
As part of the reconstruction, a chapel was provided at Platform (Binario) 22, which was opened in 1952 and was transferred downstairs into an underground area in 1955.
In 1985, the chapel was given the dignity of a church with its own priest (Chiesa Rettoria), because of the recognition of the important pastoral work being done by the incumbent among transient railway workers -as well as among rootless people such as immigrants to the city, or derelict people using the railways as shelter.
As part of the renovations of the station buildings at the end of the 20th century, the church was rebuilt and re-consecrated in 1999.
It is the canonical responsibility of the parish church of Sacro Cuore di Gesù a Castro Pretorio nearby, but still has its own priest who is Monsignor Olivier Pelliccioni.
Location and layoutEdit
The church has no architectural identity, and little to commend it artistically. It is to be found at the bottom right hand corner of the concourse (facing the tracks), just by the present Platform (Binario) 24. Turn left just before the exit escalator in that corner, and the church entrance is to the right.
Access and liturgyEdit
This church exists as a pastoral outlet only. This is reflected in its opening times, and the times for Mass.
On weekdays, the church is open from 6:15 -or 7:00- to 19:00.
The times demonstrate that the Italians haven't quite got round to the 24/7 culture in many aspects of life. Neither are they completely efficient in putting information on websites; the earlier opening time is according to the Diocese, the later according to the church's own website -which is liable to be more accurate.
The weekday Mass is at 8:00, which is popular among commuters.
On Sundays, the church opens from 7:00 to 22:00.
Mass on Sundays is at 9:00, 10:00, 11:00, 12:00 and 21:00.
The church's website claims that the 21:00 Mass is the last in the day for the whole city, and the best attended. This is only possibly true in the latter instance.