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Cappella delle Suore del Sacro Cuore di Ragusa is a late 20th century convent chapel at Via Cassia 1714, in the La Storta zone.

The chapel is within the territory of the diocese of Porto Santa Rufina.

History Edit

The congregation of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Ragusa (Suore del Sacro Cuore di Ragusa) was founded by a noblewoman of Ragusa in Sicily, named Maria Schininà. Like many other foundresses in that century, she was committed to the social works of mercy at a time when the State accepted little or no responsibility for needy persons. She and her group of disciples received diocesan approval as a sodality in 1889, with a spirituality centred on the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Again like many other congregations of active female religious of the 19th century, this one became international in scope (it is now active in all continents except Australia and Antarctica). As a result, papal approval was obtained in 1936 and constitutions confirmed in 1946. This meant that a Generalate or headquarters was established in Rome rather than at the mother house in Ragusa, as formerly.

The congregation affiliated to the Franciscan Conventuals in 1955.

The foundress, Blessed Maria Schininà, was beatified in 1990. The boost in morale lead to the Generalate being extended by a new block in 1996, including a completely new chapel. In this, the congregation was unusual in Rome because many (or most) of the active female congregations in the city were having serious problems with maintaining and justifying large Generalate convents as the numbers of active female religious have declined over the past half-century.

In contrast, the Ragusa sisters are still founding convents with the latest in 2008. According to the Diocese of Rome, they have 509 sisters in 59 convents (September 2018). However, there are now only four resident in the Generalate -and they are all Italians. This is not good for its future. The congregation has no other outreach in the city, although there is a sister living on her own on the Via Malta (why?).

Appearance Edit

The chapel has no external architectural identity.

It is a large, rather low-ceilinged room with most of the ceiling recessed in a very large panel with rounded corners. The unrecessed ceiling zones down the sides are supported by three Tuscan Doric columns on each side, in what looks like creamy grey-veined marble (are they real?). The recessed ceiling zone is in white, while the rest of the ceiling is in pale yellow together with the walls. The floor is in creamy grey-veined marble tiles.

The sanctuary has a very shallow rectangular apse, and this is occupied by a spectacular mosaic in the form of a glory focusing on a heart-shaped tabernacle itself in gilded mosaic work. The glory contains the epigraph Cuore di Cristo, il cuore del mondo (Heart of Christ, the heart of the world). The apse is flanked by mosaic depictions of the Pelican in its Piety (left) and the Lamb of God (right).

External links Edit

Official diocesan web-page of congregation

Congregation's website

Info.roma web-page

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