Santa Maria Addolorata ai Goranni is an early 21st century parish church at Viale della Venezia Giulia 134 in the Collatino quarter, just north of Via Prenestina and near the Prenestina train station. It is in the same street as Sant’Agapito, but further to the east.

Name Edit

The dedication is to the Blessed Virgin Mary, under her title of Our Lady of Sorrows.

Oddly, both the official name of the church and its cardinalate title are simply Santa Maria Addolorata. This is despite several churches in Rome having the same dedication. Confusion especially arises with Santa Maria Addolorata a Piazza Buenos Aires, which is also titular.

History Edit

A so-called "vicecuracy" (embryo parish) was erected in 1954, and initially entrusted to the Missionari, Servi dei Poveri. The mother parish was Santa Maria Madre della Misericordia. A church was designed by Giuseppe Zander (see his completed church at San Leone I), and an independent parish erected in 1958.

However, something immediately went badly wrong. Only the crypt of the proposed church was built, and the Missionari (usually nicknamed Opera del Boccone del Povero) moved their attentions to another new parish called Santa Maria della Perseveranza in 1959, where they remain.

The parish had to wait almost half a century for a proper church. This was designed by the Roman architectural firm of Sbardella, and built in 2000. It was consecrated in the following year.

The church was made titular in 2015, the first cardinal priest being Francis Xavier Kriengsak Kovitvanit.


The plan is complex. It is based on an irregular pentagon with the entrance at the apex, two long walls on either side, two short walls beyond the angles and a long altar baseline. Attached to the pentagon on the altar basline is a right-angled triangle, with the hypotenuse shorter than the baseline so that there are two very short walls flanking it.

The metal-sheeted roof is equally complex. There are two pitches from the rooflines of the right-angled triangle, and these have two corresponding pitches within the pentagon so that the roof forms a pyramid over the altar. The two latter pitches do not end in internal gutters, but curve gradually before the geometric base of the pyramid to reach the pentagon rooflines. At the entrance, there is an upsweep to form a gable.

The actual entrance is three sides of an octagon, with the door occupying the central side and two side walls flanking, in travertine ashlar stonework with a narrow side door each. Above this arrangement is a flat canopy, with a dedicatory inscription on its dark grey fascia. Above that is the gable, acutely pointed and also in cream-coloured ashlar stonework, with a vertical as well as a horizontal angle. Attached to the vertical angle is a white stone pillar basically of three sides, but sculptured at the bottom with rectangles and at the top with crosses. It bears a cross made of metal wire.

The two side walls either side of the entrance are identical, and are of red brick. The central section of each has two gables, one larger one at the roofline and a smaller one just in front of it. These are flanked by a pair of vertical strip windows with grey panelling above and below. At the right hand return wall is a subsidiary entrance, with a similar layout as the main entrance but with no inscription or carved pillar and with no upsweep of the roof behind the (false) gable.

The left hand return wall has the same arrangement, but next to the entrance is the campanile. This is a free-standing concrete tower formed by eight large concrete slab pilasters brought together to form a cross, with gaps left between them spanned by struts.


The single-spaced interior is dominated by the curvaceous roof, which has no ceiling. It is divided into sectors by thin, deep planks which follow the downward directions of the curves.

The floor is attractively paved in red, white and dark grey tiles, and the nave walls are in white.

The sanctuary occupies the far angle, and has the altar flanked by two large square windows containing rectangular panels of stained glass. These windows are bounded by dark grey engaged piers, the outer pair at the entrance corners of the sanctuary, and these support an architrave in the same colour just below the ceiling (the nave lacks this feature). In between the inner pair of piers the walls in the angle are clad in limestone, and the altar is here.

The stained glass windows are by Mara Alessandri, who also designed the bronze Crucifix over the altar.

Liturgy Edit

Mass is celebrated, according to the parish website (June 2018):

Weekdays 9:00, 10:00 (not July and August), 18:00 (19:00 May to August);

Sundays and Solemnities 8:00, 9:00 (not July and August), 10:00, 11:00, 12:00 (not July and August), 18:00 (19:00 July and August).

Vespers is celebrated daily at 19:30.

External linksEdit

Official diocesan web-page

Italian Wikipedia page

Parish website

Info.roma web-page

Roman Despatches - blog with gallery (including interior pictures)

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