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Cappella delle Figlie di Maria Immacolata di Reggio Calabria is a mid 20th century convent chapel at Via Trionfale 6470. The postal address of the convent is Via Brigida Postorino 19 (this street is named after the foundress), in the Della Vittoria zone.

History Edit

The "Daughters of Mary Immaculate" (Figlie di Maria Immacolata) )were founded at Reggio Calabria in Italy in 1898 by Brigida Maria Postorino. The congregation arose from an informal sodality of young women in the city which was committed to the practical works of charity.

There was no easy way at the time for the various foundresses of such congregations to avoid confusions over the names that they selected. As a result, there are eight congregations active in Rome which have "Daughters of Mary Immaculate" in their names. As a result, this one is invariably referred to by the name of its home city -although this is not official. The sisters also have the nickname of Immacolatine.

A pontifical decree of approval was granted in 1911, which allowed the congregation to spread. Interestingly, however, it never got further north than Rome in Italy. Abroad, it has founded convents in Argentina, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast and (recently) near New York in the USA.

In response to the developments outside Italy, a Generalate or headquarters was opened in Rome. By the look of it, the work was done in the later 20th century.

In 2018, the Diocese listed 220 sisters in 41 houses worldwide, but only three sisters resident at Rome. The congregation website mentions a school, the Istituto Figlie di Maria Immacolata in the Villino San Giuseppe, but the diocese does not. So, it seems that this has been closed down.

The future of this convent seems precarious. Other Generalates have converted at least part of their complexes into holiday hotels (Case per ferie), but the premises here are badly sited, have hardly any car parking and a rather dangerous approach (see below). The congregation could hardly be blamed if they simply shut the convent down and transferred the Generalate back to Reggio Calabria.

Appearance Edit

Unlike most other Generalates in Rome of this period, this one is not surrounded by gardens or greenery. In fact, it is on a cramped site surrounded by apartment blocks and with no garden at all.

The access is from the Via della Camilluccia. The driveway has a name, the Via Brigida Postorino, but this merely demonstrates the city's fondness for naming even the most unlikely bits of public access. Here, the driveway is very narrow and is hardly one lane wide.

The sisters obviously bought a pre-existing earlier 20th century villa and built their Generalate on its gardens. The convent is an ugly four-storey block in pink brick, looking very much like a textile mill. The chapel is a separate red brick structure, and it, the convent and the old villa are linked by single-storey ranges. The villa seems to have been the location of the former school.

Both convent and chapel overlook the Via Trionfale, and are very close to it. Hence the chapel has an address on it, although there is no access from the road. The complex stands at the top of a revetting wall protecting the road here.

The chapel amounts to a church edifice, having a single nave with a semi-circular sanctuary apse of the same width. Unlike the convent, the brickwork is rendered in a dull pinkish red. The roof is pitched and tiled, and continues over the apse in seven triangular pitches. It has strongly overhanging eaves down the sides and at the front gable. There is a ground-level crypt.

The façade looms over the Via Trionfale. There is a single entrance, accessed by a transverse staircase from the convent to the right. Above is a round window in stone with a wide molded frame and mullions in the form of a double cross, + and x superimposed. There is not much room for glass. A pair of stone pilasters, in white slabs one above the other, flank the entrance and window. They end in rudimentary Tuscan Doric capitals, but these support nothing since there is no pediment.

External links Edit

Official diocesan web-page

Congregation's website

Info.roma web-page

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