Santa Maria del Rosario ai Martiri Portuensi is a 21st century parish church at Via Chiusdino 16, at the west end of the suburb of Magliana, part of the Portuense suburban district just north of the Via Portuense.

Name Edit

The church has a double dedication, to Our Lady of the Rosary and the Portuensian Martyrs.

The Martiri Portuensi were SS Simplicius, Faustinus, Beatrice and Rufus. They were martyred about the year 300, and buried in the catacombs of Generosa. Their alleged sarcophagus is preserved in the sacristy of Santa Maria Maggiore.

The catacombs themselves are on the Viale delle Catacombe di Generosa, north-east of the Magliana train station, and are occasionally open for guided tours. The ruins of the Basilica of Generosa are located there.


The new church replaces the church of Santa Maria del Rosario di Pompeii alla Magliana, which used to be the parish church after the parish was established in 1915. This old church has been kept as a subsidiary Mass centre. The new one was designed by Piero Sanpaolo, and completed in 2007.

The parish is administered by the “Priestly Confraternity of the Missionaries of St Charles Borromeo” (Fraternità Sacerdotale dei Missionari di San Carlo Borromeo).


Layout Edit

The church has a basically rectangular plan, with four appendages: The middle half of each side wall is occupied by a narrow side aisle. The middle half of the far wall is occupied by a sanctuary apse with straight sides and a gentle arc to the back wall. The middle three-fifths of the near end wall is occupied by a narthex or entrance bay, which has a curved front.

The left hand side of the church is abutted by the ancillary facilities, including a ferial chapel which has its major axis parallel to that of the church and is surrounded by sacristy accommodation. The block thus formed is much lower than the church proper.

A tower campanile is appended to the left hand side of the narthex.

Fabric Edit

The fabric consists of a reinforced concrete frame, infilled with pink brick. Most of the tall exterior is in this blank pink brick walling, which forms parapets for the flat roofs. There are separate roofs for the narthex, apse and two side aisles. The lower ferial chapel block roof is also flat.

The campanile is a longitudinal rectangular brick tower, just less than twice the height of the façade. On top of this is a very large bell-cage made up from concrete beams and struts, which is slightly wider than the tower on all four sides. The cage has a vertical row of three vertical rectangular sound-holes on the short faces, and two of the same on the long faces. The bottom rectangles are taller.

At the right hand side of the façade, opposite the campanile, there is a large vertical strip widow tucked into the angle between the narthex and the main church, facing longitudinally. Similar windows are in the angles between the central nave and side aisles, four in all, and in the angles between apse and the main nave. The latter face transversely, so as to throw light on the altar. These windows are topped by rectangular concrete panels below the parapet tops, and do not reach to the ground.

Façade Edit

The entrance façade has its central section bowed, with the actual entrance recessed under it. It has a large fenestration, consisting of nine vertical rectangular windows symmetrically arranged top to bottom in three horizontal lines of five, three and one . These have single panes of clear glass, with the panes curved to fit the curve of the frontage.

The church's axis is parallel to the street, so its right hand elevation is also monumental. On the wall of the right hand side aisle wall is a fenestration of the same sort of pattern as that on the façade. However, the rows are of six, four and two and the vertical line of symmetry is occupied by a zone of brickwork.


Main church Edit

The interior walls are painted white, and the windows are in clear glass. This lack of overall colour contrasts with the apse wall, which is in a pinkish orange. A dark grey string course runs round the entire interior just below the sills of the windows, and either side of the apse is projected out into a pair of triangular platforms bearing statues. St Joseph is to the left, and Our Lady to the right. The otherwise blank-walled sanctuary has a hanging polychrome crucifix of traditional style.

The main ceiling is in laminated and varnished wood, strongly coffered in squares by means of planks on edge.

Ferial chapel Edit

The mosaic firm Centro Aletti has provided high-quality sanctuary fittings for the ferial chapel.

The little cuboidal limestone altar has a frontal mosaic of The Pelican in Piety (feeding its chicks with its blood -a symbol of Christ in the Eucharist). Behind, the far wall of the sanctuary has Christ Walking on the Water and Saving St Peter. The lectern or ambo has a gilded mosaic strip in the form of a stylized vine, and on the wall behind is a mosaic of the Madonna and Child. The tabernacle has a mosaic depiction of Christ with the Portuense Martyrs.

The altar lights (which burn oil) and the sanctuary lamp are a matching set in gilded silver.

Liturgy Edit

Mass is celebrated (June 2018):

Weekdays 9:00 (not summer), 19:00;

Sundays and Solemnities 8:00 (not summer), 10:30, 12:00 (not summer), 19:00.

"Summer" here is July and August.

There is Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament on Thursdays from 7:45 to 8:45.

The parish has a subsidiary church:

Santa Maria del Rosario di Pompei alla Magliana

and a pilgrimage site at which Mass is occasionally celebrated:

Basilica di Generosa

External linksEdit

Official diocesan web-page

Italian Wikipedia page

Parish website

Architectural article

Centro Aletti web-page

Confraternity website

Catacombs website

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