Sant'Enrico de Ossò della Compagnia di Santa Teresa di Gesu is a mid 20th century convent chapel at Via Val Cannuta 124 in the Aurelio suburban district.

History Edit

The "Company of St Theresa of Jesus" (Compagnia di Santa Teresa di Gesù -in Spanish, Compañía de Santa Teresa de Jesús) is a teaching sisterhood founded at Tortosa in Spain in 1876. The founder was St Enrique (Henry) de Ossó I Cervelló, who had been ordained a priest in the diocese of Tortosa. The congregation was dedicated to St Teresa of Jesus.

This is one of many congregations of female religious with an international outreach, which founded large convents as Generalates (headquarters) at Rome in the mid 20th century. Here, the Generalate was dedicated to St Teresa of Jesus and initially had a school attached.

After the founder was canonized in 1993, the convent was dedicated to him. It remains as the Generalate, but now also contains a small retirement home for infirm women and a pilgrimage hotel. The chapel does not seem to be included in the facilities of this.

The congregation has one other convent at Rome, running the Istituto Santa Teresa di Gesù at Via Ardea 16.

Appearance Edit

Layout Edit

The convent is a six-storey flat-roofed block with two wings running back at the ends, set well back from the street. The ground level slopes, so the first storey is below it at the street-side. This is an unremarkable structure, in pink brick infilling a reinforced concrete frame.

The chapel is a church-sized edifice, hiding at the rear on the major axis of the convent's layout. It is joined by a covered corridor to the convent's entrance foyer, so to get there you go straight ahead on entering.

The chapel stands over a crypt. It has four distinct architectural elements. First comes an entrance bay, which is wider than the four-bay nave behind. Then comes a transept which is again wider than the nave, and is on the plan of a symmetrical but irregular octagon. The far side is the width of the nave, the near side is shorter and the same length as the near diagonal sides, and the longitudinal sides and the far diagonal sides are very short. Finally, there is a shallow one-bay sanctuary.

Fabric Edit

The nave bays are separated by concrete piers in a cream colour which support the roof, and which are flanked by thin window strips. These piers spring from a pair of massive beams which divide the chapel proper from a ground-level crypt. The fenestration strips join horizontal window strips just below the eaves. The nave roof has three pitches in red at front and sides, with a central flat area in grey. The nave walls are in pink brick, and are obviously not load-bearing.

The entrance bay roof is flat, and is one with the roof of the access corridor. The right hand end of this bay is identical to one of the nave bays, with a pair of piers at the corner, but the left hand side is occupied by a stumpy tower campanile which does not rise above the level of the convent building. It has four massive concrete piers at the corners, with a pair of window strips down the right hand side next to these. The bell-chamber has four vertical slit sound-holes, separated by short concrete piers. There is a low pyramidal cap, in red.

The transept roof has eight pitches in red, meeting at a transverse roofline. It has no visible piers, except for a pair tucked into the junctions between transept and nave which are halfway along the near diagonal sides. As elsewhere, these are flanked by narrow window strips. There is a horizontal window strip below the eaves facing the nave, tucked into the gap between the nave and transept roofs. This strip is continued as a pair of windows on each side, divided by the pier mentioned. These are under the eaves, the nearer one being triangular and the further one, rectangular. These windows contain stained glass.

The sanctuary has side walls in the same style as the nave bays. The back wall has three brick panels divided by piers, but no window strips.

External links Edit

Official diocesan web-page

Congregation's website

Hotel's website

Info.roma web-page

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