Divino Amore delle Religiose dell'Assunzione is a mid 20th century convent and public chapel at Via Alessandro Viviani 24 in the Appio Claudio quarter.
The dedication seems to be to the Holy Spirit ("Divine Love").
The convent here was built in the mid 20th century as the Roman headquarters of the congregation. It includes a school, the Istituto Madre Maria Eugenia. The chapel is on record as having been completed in 1953.
As well as being the convent chapel, the edifice is also a public chapel of the parish of Assunzione di Maria, and pre-dates the parish church as the first Mass centre in the parish.
The congregation is still flourishing, and the Diocese lists eight sisters based here. However, it has closed down its other school in Rome in the Parioli quarter. This had a much more impressive chapel. See Cappella dell'Istituto Pio XII delle Religiose dell'Assunzione.
Layout and fabric Edit
The chapel has a civic presence, amounting to a small church with a separate edifice from the main convent. It is located up a dead-end street leading to the Parco degli Acquedotti, and the aqueduct of the Acqua Felice runs close by.
The edifice is in pink brick, on a rectangular plan of seven bays with an attached segmental apse which is lower and narrower than the main structure. The roof is pitched and tiled, and the apse has its own little arc-shaped tiled roof (curved, not in sectors).
Three wings of the convent are arranged around a courtyard to the right of the chapel, and a fourth is behind the apse and aligned with it. Apart from a sacristy block attached to the apse, the convent buildings do not impinge on the chapel.
The side walls each have seven large round-headed windows.
There is a little bellcote or campanile on top of the right hand side of the altar wall, having apertures for two bells side by side.
The chapel's appearance is very old-fashioned for its date. It is in plain pink brick, with corner quoins in white. The single entrance has a simple rectilinear molded doorcase, with a blank tablet on the lintel topped by a thin and shallow floating cornice.
There is an interesting oculus (round window) above the door, which has a brick frame having an outer circle of raised molding. The fenestration has metal mullions in the form of a cross-on circle, and the panels are not in glass but in selenite. Inside the cross outline is decorative inlay in the form of rows of torcs, and with four six-petalled flowers in ruby glass.
The interior is very simple, rendered in very pale pastel shades. The first five bays are occupied by the seating for the laity, and the sixth one contains the choir stalls of the sisters. Each bay has two large round-headed windows facing each other.
The seventh bay is the sanctuary, separated by a screen wall in which is a triumphal arch having a pair of thin limestone Corinthian columns. There are two small round-headed doorways flanking this. The arch archivolt has simple molding, and is continued round the interior as a shallow-relief floating entablature which fits over the top curves of the windows.
The roof is open, with trusses.
The two sanctuary side doors have round-headed frames. The sanctuary apse has a matching arch, but without columns. The apse wall is completely blank, except for the tabernacle.
Mass is celebrated publicly at 8:30 daily throughout the year.
Romanian Orthodox Edit
The chapel is also the home of a Romanian Orthodox parish. This is dedicated to the Elevation of the Holy Cross (14 September), and is referred to as "Roma III" by the hierarchy.
The Orthodox do not practice intercommunion, and Catholics (including Romanian ones) are not welcome to receive Communion here.