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Santo Stefano Protomartire a Tuscolano is a mid 20th century parish church at Via di Torre del Fiscale 31, in the Tuscolano quarter.

The dedication is to St Stephen the Protomartyr.

History Edit

The parish was set up in 1954, and given a dedication recalling the nearby ruined ancient basilica on the Via Latina -Santo Stefano Protomartire a Via Latina.

The church, such as it is, was completed in 1955. The architect was Mario Bruno. Apparently the present arrangement was only intended to be temporary, and a larger church was to have been built (or the present edifice extended). This obviously did not happen, and is certainly not going to happen now.

For a period the parish was in the charge of the Associazione Sacerdoti Gesù Crocifisso, a clerical confraternity of the diocese of Como. It is now with clergy of the Diocese of Rome.

At some stage the structure was compromised by subsidence, and evidence for this can be seen in the supporting beams added to the interior.

Exterior Edit

Layout and fabric Edit

This is a very straightforward flat-roofed brick box. The roof is supported by a frame of steel girders, which you can see inside. The exterior walls are rendered in a dull orange-red, with rectangular windows in the side walls.

The church stands away from the street, facing a piazza enclosed by a low wall with steel railings. An L-shaped parish office block abuts the near right hand side, with the main range enclosing the piazza on that side. A function suite occupies a separate wing parallel to the church and abutting the main block at its angle.

These ancillary buildings are rendered in the same colour as the church.

Façade Edit

The façade is a featureless wall, containing a single entrance with a little floating gabled and tiled canopy. Under this, over the lintel, is a depiction of The Stoning of St Stephen.

The parapet is raised along the mid section of the roofline. In the right hand angle created by this feature is the original campanile or bell-cote, which is a tall and rather flimsy-looking brick structure containing two round-headed apertures. These are one above the other, not side by side as is usual.

The design of the campanile seems to have rendered it unsafe, and the three bells are now hung in a rather haphazard metal frame over the near left hand corner of the church. This structure incorporates a cross finial made of two steel girders.

Interior Edit

The simple rectangular interior is mostly in white, although there is a broad stripe of red marble running up the major axis of the floor. The sanctuary is raised on a platform with two steps, in the same stone.

The flat roof was originally supported by six rather narrow longitudinal steel beams, including two tucked into the corners at the tops of the side walls. These proved inadequate, and as an emergency level were themselves provided with support by thicker transverse steel girders. The ends of these are on engaged square piers of naked red brick. Both girders and piers are not part of the original design.

The altar has been brought forward from a little internal apse, which is now occupied by a free-standing stone tabernacle throne wrapping round the round chased chrome (?) tabernacle.

The church's major artwork is a ceramic statue of St Stephen attached to the left hand wall. Who is it by?

Liturgy Edit

The parish does not have a website.

The Diocese only has information as regards the celebration of Mass on Sundays and Solemnities, which is at 8:00 and 10:00.

External links Edit

Official diocesan web-page

Italian Wikipedia page

Info.roma web-page

Beweb web-page

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