Sant’Antonio da Padova dell’Omo is a mid 20th century convent and public chapel at Largo Piccola Lourdes. This is in a locality called Dell’Omo on the Via Prenestina, just west of the Circonvallazione Orientale and in the Tor Spaccata suburban zone.
The chapel was built for a convent called Piccola Lourdes, belonging to a sisterhood called Missionarie Catechiste di Gesù Redentore. This had been founded at Rieti in 1941, and the convent here is the Rome headquarters for the congregation.
The major focus of the complex is a residential care home, run by the sisters for old people.
The chapel satisfies a genuine pastoral need, as the small suburb is at a distance from the local parish church which is San Cirillo Alessandrino. On the other hand, there are now only two sisters in residence (2016).
Layout and fabric Edit
This edifice is substantial, and amounts to a church (although it does not have this status).
There is a single nave of five bays, and then a slightly narrower sanctuary. A low flat-roofed ancillary block attaches to the right hand side beyond the third bay, and the main convent buildings to the left hand side ditto.
The fabric has a reinforced concrete frame. The three exposed nave bays each have a thin vertical rectangular window in each side. The right hand side wall has a row of fifteen small rectangular windows just below the roofline, but the left hand side only has ten because of the convent buildings attached to the chapel. The windows have triangular tops.
The side walls are in pearl-grey render, with a dark red horizontal stripe near the top windows. The roofline cornices are also in red.
The roof is pitched and tiled, and covers both nave and sanctuary. The latter has a low octagonal dome, with three windows in each side of the drum and a metal cupola having an ogee profile. It is topped by a lantern looking like a vase, with four tiny outwardly-leaning gabled aedicules containing window slits, and an openwork metal flèche on top with a ball finial.
The gabled façade is quite striking. It is in three vertical zones, the central one slightly proud and wider than the two side ones. The latter are also rendered in pearl-grey, but the central zone is revetted in limestone slabs. The entire façade has twelve horizontal stripes in red.
The single entrance has an external porch. This is an open-fronted kiosk with a gable and solid sides, the interior being dished and embellished with black rectangular panels. The tympanum over the door has a gilded mosaic with the monogram of Christ -IHS. On the façade above the door is displayed that of Our Lady -AM. The tip of the porch gable carries a statue of Our Lady of Lourdes.
Just below the main façade gable is a row of seven thin triangular-topped windows in limestone. The gable tip carries a low obelisk finial topped by a ball.
Mass is celebrated on Sundays and Solemnities at 11:00, except the last Sunday of the month when it is at 11:30.