Santa Maria Immacolata e S Vincenzo de Paoli is a later 20th century parish church at Via di Tor Sapienza 52, serving the suburb of Tor Sapienza on the Via Collatina in the east of the city.

Name Edit

The joint dedication of the parish is to the Blessed Virgin Mary under her aspect of the Immaculate Conception, and to St Vincent de Paul.

It seems that the church itself is dedicated to the latter saint only -it is possible for a parish to have a different dedication from its church.


The parish was erected in 1912, and provided with the church of Santa Maria Immacolata alla Cervelletta. Until after the Second World War it was administered by diocesan clergy.

In 1949, the parish and the little church were taken over by the Congregation of the Mission, often nicknamed in English the Lazarists. Their intention was to build a new church and parish complex, which was finished very quickly in the following year. The parish dedication was extended to include St Vincent de Paul, who had inspired the foundation of the congregation.

The architect was Francesco Fornari.

When finished, the new church and convent were still surrounded by open fields but complete suburban development of the locality followed very quickly.


Layout and fabric Edit

Surprisingly for the period, the church has a neo-Baroque design. There is a single nave without aisles, having six bays. There follows a single-bay sanctuary which is narrower, and finally a semi-circular apse of the same width as the sanctuary bay. The second and fourth bays have little apsidal chapels attached to the left hand side, and the flat-roofed convent building attaches to the last two bays on the right hand side.

The fabric is in brick, but the walls are mostly rendered in a pale tan colour with architectural details in dull yellow. The side walls each have a horizontal string course about two-thirds of the way up, and on this sits round-headed windows with cross mullions. The left side has four, for the middle four bays, but the right side has only three, for bays two to five.

The sanctuary and apse wall has four blind pilasters in white.

The roofs are pitched and tiled, with the separate and lower sanctuary roof covering the apse in four sectors.

Façade Edit

The façade has a fairly high limestone plinth. Above, it is divided into three zones by four gigantic blind pilasters running up to, and melding with, a simple frieze below the protruding triangular pediment. There is a papal coat-of-arms in the pediment tympanum.

The central, wider zone is rendered in the light tan colour, and the flanking ones are in naked pink brick.

The single entrance is approached by a flight of five steps. It has a molded stone doorcase with a deep lintel, and on the latter is a dedicatory inscription: D[eo] o[ptimo] m[aximo] in hon[orem] S[ancti] Vincentii a Paolo, a[nno] iub[ileo] MCML. 1950 was a Jubilee year. Above the doorcase is a triangular pediment with a deep incurved cornice, and above that is a large round window.

Campanile Edit

There is a campanile at the other end of the church, attached to the right of the apse. It is a low square tower with a concrete frame and red brick infill, and the concrete piers at the corners continue upwards to form the open bell-cage. Each face of this is divided into two vertical rectangular sound-holes by a short concrete pier. The top has a parapet, and a dumpy pyramidal flèche formed by four concrete beams meeting at a point.

Interior Edit

The walls are divided horizontally by an entablature that runs round the interior, and on which the sills of the side wall windows rest. This entablature is supported by pilasters in pink brick which divide the nave bays, and which are topped by posts in the entablature architrave (these posts do not affect the entablature's frieze and cornice). Above the lower pilasters, a second set stand on the entablature to support the roof springers but these and the entablature itself are painted in a pale tan colour. The walls are otherwise in white.

The sanctuary arrangements were revised in the late 20th century, and are rather unusual. The main altar was removed from the apse, and replaced by one with a square plan which stands in the second to last bay of the nave. This altar has a frontal which is a chased silver relief, and stands on an extension of the sanctuary platform. The seating of the congregation faces up the church in front of it, and also flanks it on either side.

Until a recent restoration of the interior, in front of the altar stood a large font on a hexagonal plan. This has apparently now been removed (the writer has not visited recently to check this point).

The apse has a triumphal arch, with the undecorated archivolt springing from the entablature. It is decorated with a mural of Christ in Glory with Saints and Angels, in a traditional Byzantine style. Flanking the triumphal arch are two round-headed niches containing statues of the patrons, the Immaculate Conception to the left and St Vincent to the right.


Main church Edit

The following information is from the parish website (June 2018).

Holy Mass is celebrated on weekdays at:

7:00, 8:30, 9:00 (except July and August), 18:00 (19:00 during DST).

Holy Mass is celebrated on Sundays and Solemnities at:

7:00, 8:30, 10:00, 11:30, 18:00 (19:00 during DST). During July and August, the 10:00 and 11:30 Masses are replaced with one at 11:00.

There is Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament every Thursday from October to May, at 19:00 (18:00 in DST), and also on First Fridays from October to June

Rosary: 18:30 (19:30 during DST).

The Divine Office of Lauds is combined with the 9:00 weekday Mass.

The parish office opens from 16:00 (18:00 in August) to 19:00, Mondays to Fridays.

Chiesa della Cervelletta Edit

The former parish church is used as a spare liturgical space. The 11:30 Sunday Mass was being celebrated in it recently, but the parish website does not now (June 2018) mention this.

However, there is Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament from 16:00 to 22:00 on Thursdays.

Address and how to get thereEdit

Via di Tor Sapienza, 52 - 00155 Roma

The suburb has a train station reached from Termini, but it is not very near the church. Alternatively, get the number 5 bus from Termini to Largo Preneste and change to either a 112 or 314. These pass the church.

External linksEdit

Official diocesan web-page

Parish website

Info.roma web-page

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