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Cappella delle Suore di Sant'Anna is a later 20th century convent chapel at Via degli Aldobrandeschi 100 in the the west of the Gianicolense suburban district.

The dedication of the congregation is to St Anne, the mother of Our Lady.

History Edit

The congregation of Sisters of St Anne (Suore di Sant'Anna) was founded at Turin in 1834, by some well-connected locals in the suburb of Moncalieri who wanted to found and staff an orphanage. As with many other such foundations in the earlier 19th century, a small charitable initiative immediately grew massively in response to major social needs which were not being addressed by the secular authorities.

The congregation was initially called the Sisters of Providence, after the famous icon of Our Lady at San Carlo ai Catinari. However, the name was changed to Sisters of St Anne and Providence during the massive expansion under Bl Maria Enrichetta Dominici as Mother Superior. She and her congregation were part of the enormously influential ecclesiastical movement at Turin centred on St John Bosco.

The expansion led to the congregation becoming international in scope.

After the Second World War, in common with many other congregations of active female religious, the sisters instigated a major project for a new Generalate (headquarters) at Rome. The complex was completed in 1963, and the architect was Paolo Sannibale. A large chapel was provided, which could easily do duty as a modern Roman parish church. However, it has never had a public ministry.

Part of the same project was the building of a huge new school in the Ostiense quarter -see Cappella dell'Istituto Sant'Anna Falletti di Barolo.

The congregation undertook a second name change in 1972, to "Sisters of St Anne". Unfortunately, the simplified name results in confusion with several other similarly named congregations.

Appearance Edit

This is a very impressive edifice for a mere private convent chapel.

The ground-plan is complex. The main nave is rectangular, of four bays with slightly bowed (outwardly curved) side walls. The additional entrance bay is apsidal, of three sides and the same width as the main nave. The sanctuary is also apsidal, of three sides but narrower than the main nave.

The far end of the nave abuts a sacristy and presbyteral block which is seven-sided and wraps around the apse. It is the same width as the far end of the nave.

The main chapel stands over a ground-level crypt, which has white walls and is slightly wider than the main nave. The four nave bays of this on each side are divided by vertical gullies containing drainage, and each bay wall has a horizontal rectangular window.

The fabric of the main consists of a reinforced concrete frame, with red brick infill. The bays are separated by massive concrete piers, which support gabled roofline beams. There are fourteen of these gables, four on each side of the nave and three at each end.

The roof, in a grey composition, has pitches corresponding to these gables. The pitches over the entrance and sanctuary apses, together with those over the near and far nave bays, run back to two points on the major axis. However, the pitches over the two central nave bays run back to meet a tall octagonal lantern in white. Each side has a vertical rectangular window, and there is a tall conical pixie-cap of eight triangular pitches which sits on a projecting cornice.

All the gables contain triangular lunette windows, including the front one peeping over the flat roof of the convent entrance wing.

The infill walls, in red brick, are blank. Those of the four nave bays each have a vertical rectangular window, and the concrete framework piers between them are set back. The corners thus created are chamfered, and contain fenestration strips next to the piers.

External links Edit

Official diocesan web-page

Info.roma web-page

Congregation's website

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