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Cappella delle Suore Ministre degli Infermi di San Camillo is a late 20th century convent chapel at Via Maria Domenica Brun Barbetini 135 in the La Giustiniana zone.

The chapel is in the municipality, but in the territory of the diocese of Porto Santa Rufina.

History Edit

The "Sisters, Ministers to the Infirm of St Camillus" (Suore Ministre degli Infermi di San Camillo) are one of five active congregations together making up the female branch of the Camillian family of religious. They derive from the charism of the congregation of clerics founded by St Camillus de Lellis, which has its headquarters at La Maddalena. The saint himself did not think about founding a woman's branch of his congregation, hence the later duplication.

The only other female congregation of the five which is active in Rome are the Figlie di San Camillo.

The Ministers were founded at Lucca in 1841 by Bl Maria-Domenica Brun Barbantini. She had been a wife and mother, but both husband and son died so she devoted her life to helping sick people and set up a sodality of like-minded young women which evolved into the congregation. It received papal approval in 1929.

There has been some spread worldwide, with activity in Taiwan, the Philippines, Thailand, Kenya and Brazil. As with other active female congregations, this international status motivated the foundation of a Generalate or headquarters at Rome in the later 20th century.

In 2018, the Diocese listed 243 sisters in 43 convents worldwide. At Rome, they are in charge of the Clinica Villa Luisa near the Vatican. However, only one sister is now permanently resident at Rome and that is the Superior-General.

Again as with other congregations, decline in numbers has left the Generalate rather lacking in justification. In response, the congregation has opened a holiday hotel here (Casa per ferie) named after the foundress. This seems to have replaced a former retirement home.

Appearance Edit

The rather sprawling convent complex is in a completely rural location -in fact, this causes problems for the hotel, which has to provide a minibus for guests from the train station.

There are two separate three-storey main blocks with pitched, hipped and tiled roofs. A third two-storey block is square, with a pyramidal roof. These units are connected by much single-storey flat-roofed ancillary accommodation, which also links to the separate chapel.

The latter is a low circular structure, with a red composition roof incorporating a shallow saucer dome. Unusually, it has a lantern but this is off-centre on the major axis, lighting the tabernacle. This lantern is a white cylinder with cog-wheel flanges and a cross on it near top edge.

The chapel frontage hides behind a single-storey flat-roofed range, which here has a vertically stepped façade mostly of glass. The chapel wall is in white limestone ashlar blocks of various sizes, incorporating reinforced concrete piers. These support short radial beams on which the roof rests, with its substantially overhanging eaves. A window strip is between the wall and the roof.

Despite the circularity, inside the layout is traditional with the altar towards the rear and the pews facing in one direction. To the right is a huge free-standing slab pier framing the tabernacle and supporting the lantern.

External links Edit

Official diocesan web-page

Italian province's website (the congregation's website seems unmaintained -not safe if so.)

Hotel website

Info.roma web-page

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