San Gabriele dell’Addolorata is a 21st century parish and titular church at Via Ponzio Cominio 93-95, in the Don Bosco district and just north-east of the Lucio Sestio metro station on the Via Tuscolana.

Please note that the postal address as given above is new, as the streetscape was altered to make room for the church.

Name Edit

The patron saint, St Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows, was a young Passionist who died at Isola in the Abruzzi in 1862. He was remembered for heroic self-denial in the small things which habitually irritate most people.

History Edit

The ancestor of this church was a public dependent chapel of the parish church of Santa Maria del Buon Consiglio a Porta Furba, which was opened in 1970 in the ground floor of an apartment block at Via Livia Drusilla 79. This was to function as a place of worship for almost forty years.

The parish was formally erected in 1981, but then had to wait a quarter of a century for its promised permanent church. This was designed by Gianni Testa, and completed in 2009 with the formal consecration in the following year.

It was made titular in 2015, the first cardinal priest being Júlio Duarte Langa.

Exterior Edit

The church is a low building, with a flat roof. Its plan derived from a square with one corner truncated, thus forming an irregular pentagon. The major axis is on the diagonal, and the main entrance is in the truncated corner with the main altar in the opposite corner. The far two walls of the church, which meet at this altar corner, are closely accompanied by an L-shaped ancillary block for the parish and priests in charge.

The style has been (unkindly) described as "gun-emplacement Modernist", marked by blank windowless exterior walls revetted in what look like large tiles in a pale brown marble. These cover the exterior surfaces, apart from the restricted windows.

The two far walls mentioned, which are the highest of the church, are the anchors for the design. A completely flat concrete roof, fitting the pentagonal plan, is attached to these walls just before their tops leaving a low parapet. This parapet is continued around the other three sides of the roof as part of a continuous roofline wall strip, below which is a similarly continuous strip of stained glass window on the three sides. This is substantially recessed, leaving an overhang.

The roof does not reach the ends of the two far side walls. Instead, there is a short horizontal gap (filled by aisles and galleries in the edifice within) behind a pair of near side screen walls attached to the end of the far walls and running to either side of the entrance frontage. At right angles to their ends, flanking the entrance façade, are two side entrances with plate glass windows above, which are recessed within the ends of the walls.

The entrance façade itself consists of a bastion of three walls on a plan made up of three sides of an octagon, inserted in between the side entrances just mentioned. This bastion or entrance porch is lower than the main roofline, and has its own flat roof which is contiguous with the gallery roofs below the window strips on each side.

There is a free-standing tower campanile to the far right hand side of the church, and attached to it by a sacristy block. It is made up of two thin vertical rectangular slabs which are parallel, but not quite aligned. These are connected by four pairs horizontal connecting beams. The high-quality set of bells is hung in the upper two open chambers thus created. A simple tall cross is in intaglio on the slab facing the street.

Interior Edit

The interior is one unified main space, with very plain surfaces in white and a completely flat undecorated ceiling. A gallery runs over the entrance and down the near side walls, with a pair of angled piers at the near corners which support the roof on that side. The solid frontals of the gallery are also completely plain. Over the gallery ceiling are three window strips separated by the corner pier posts, and these contain stained glass in abstract designs which is mostly blue but shades into yellow and then red at the altar ends.

The far side walls are windowless, but each has two huge recessed rectangular panels. Each of these encloses a further smaller recessed panel, which in turn encloses a rectangular portal. These lead to chapels and side entrances.

The sanctuary occupies the far corner, and is blank-walled. A traditional-style crucifix with a painted plaster corpus on a wooden cross is inserted into the angle. The altar is free-standing, and behind it is the president's chair flanked by concelebrants' benches, in the same pale brown stone as the cladding of the exterior.

Access Edit

The church is open daily, 7:00 to 13:00, 15:30 to 20:00.

Liturgy Edit

Mass is celebrated:

Weekdays 9:00, 18:00 (18:30 in summer);

Sundays and Solemnities 8:00, 10:00 (10:30 in summer), 11:30 (not in summer), 18:00 (18:30 in summer), 21:00 (in summer only).

Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is on Thursdays, 17:00 to 19:30 but on first Thursdays of the month is 10:00 to 22:00.

The Solemnity of St Gabriel is on 27 February.

External links Edit

Official diocesan web-page

(The Italian Wikipedia page has been deleted.)

Parish website

Info.roma web-page

Sandro Boschetto has posted several photos of the church on "Panoramio":

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Roman Despatches - blog with gallery

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