Santa Maria degli Angeli all'Aeroporto di Fiumicino is a later 20th century parish church at Via dell’Aeroporto di Fiumicino 321, which is south-west of the train station at Fiumicino Airport on the roundabout (gyratory) junction with the Viale Fratelli Wright. The church is on the north-west quadrant of this.
The dedication is to the Blessed Virgin Mary, under her title of Queen of Angels.
The terminal chapel at the airport apparently now has the same dedication, although it was dedicated to Our Lady of Loreto when it was opened.
Status[edit | edit source]
However, it is included here as it serves Rome’s principal airport and can be visited if one's flight is delayed. (You might have to ask how to get there from the terminals.)
History[edit | edit source]
The church exists not for travellers, but for those working at the airport. The edifice looks late 20th century (Eighties?), but there seems to be very little information available about it.
Exterior[edit | edit source]
Layout and fabric[edit | edit source]
The church has a square plan, with the major axis on a diagonal. The altar end has the corner rounded off, and the entrance façade occupies the near left hand side. The near right hand side is abutted by a wing of the ancillary facilities off to the right.
The walls are red brick, infilling a reinforced concrete frame. The far side walls each begin with a wide fenestration as tall as the building, and then comes a length of blank brick wall. A narrower window follows, and finally the sanctuary wall which wraps around the curved far corner. This has rows of rectangular white panels in the brickwork.
The roof is flat, but most of it is taken up by a low, irregularly shaped saucer dome. This dome fits into the back curved corner, and has a gentler curve at each side in its plan. The front has a more pronounced curve. The plan approximates to a combination of a teardrop and a square with rounded corners. The covering is in blackish composition.
Façade[edit | edit source]
The near left hand wall forms the façade. A thin concrete pilaster divides it into two zones, and the right hand zone is again divided into two horizontal halves. The left hand zone is entirely in white, except for a large, thin black cross. The lower half of the right hand zone is the entrance portal, with the actual doors recessed. The upper half is occupied by a relief sculpture of Our Lady being venerated by six angels (three on each side of her).
Interior[edit | edit source]
The interior is small. The walls are in naked pink brick, the floor in light grey and the flat ceiling in white.
The near left hand side wall is occupied by an entrance lobby with a gallery above, supported by four rectangular piers in grey concrete and a horizontal beam supporting the gallery floor. The far three bays of both ground floor and gallery are private meeting spaces, screened from the main body of the church by wooden lattices.
The sanctuary occupies the rounded far corner, and is raised on two steps. It is further defined by a pair of brick piers occupying the far side walls. The curved brick sanctuary wall has six horizontal rows of very small vertical rectangular windows, well spaced and containing coloured glass. There is a large white statue of Our Lady attached to this wall, accompanied by two separate little angels buzzing about her head.
Terminal 3 Chapel[edit | edit source]
Location[edit | edit source]
The chapel is near desk ADR in Terminal 3. The terminals of the airport also have two multi-faith prayer rooms, but the chapel is a dedicated Roman Catholic place of worship in which the Blessed Sacrament is reserved.
Appearance[edit | edit source]
The chapel's frontage after its 2000 re-fit is striking. A pair of glass doors is flanked by two slightly inwardly diagonal wall surfaces in grey composition, each bearing a rectangular stained glass panel in yellow and white. The design is the same for both (except laterally inverted), and features a stylized comet. On the lintel is a Latin text from Mt 11:28: Venite ad me, omnes qui laboratis et onerati estis, et ego reficiam vos. ("Come to me, all who work and are burdened, and I will refresh you").
The interior is a windowless room of no architectural interest. Artistically, the tabernacle and the statue of Our Lady are of interest.
The tabernacle, on the far wall to the left, is in bronze. The door is square, and from it one each side protrude three triangular of unequal length which give the effect of a twinkling star. The holder of the sanctuary lamp matches it.
The statue of Our Lady has its own little recess in the far right hand corner. It is a copy of the statue of Our Lady of Loreto to be found in the Holy House there, and is by Livio Conta.
Liturgy[edit | edit source]
According to the Diocese of Porto Santa Rufina, Mass is celebrated in the church on Sundays and Solemnities at 9:00 and 11:00 (June 2018).
However, the writer found the church closed on a Sunday visit at the latter time in 2014, with no sign of life except a colony of feral cats. Are some Masses being celebrated in the chapel?
[edit | edit source]
(The church's online profile is basically zero.)