Santa Maria del Terzo Millennio alle Tre Fontane is a mid 20th century devotional church at Via Laurentina 450 at the eastern edge of EUR, on the west side of the dual carriageway north of the junction with Viale della Musica.
The dedication is to the Blessed Virgin Mary "of the Third Millennium".
Status[edit | edit source]
This is the church of the pilgrimage shrine of Our Lady of Revelation (Il Santuario della Vergine della Rivelazione). This was founded as a result of a set of visions of Our Lady to a private individual. The Church’s Magisterium has not pronounced on the validity of the apparitions, nor on the doctrine promulgated thereby.
The shrine has no connection with the Cistercian abbey of Tre Fontane across the road.
History[edit | edit source]
The shrine was built as a result of alleged visions of Our Lady experienced on the site by Bruno Cornacchiola (1913-2001). At the time that they occurred he was a city tram conductor, and was apparently both an Adventist and a Communist sympathiser.
He had been a rabid anti-Catholic, but according to his testimony had been visiting the abbey with his three children in 1947 when they saw a apparition of Our Lady as a young woman holding a copy of the Bible and standing in a natural grotto by the side of the road. As a result he converted to the Church, and made it his life's work to found a pilgrimage centre for Our Lady of Revelation at the cave.
Associated with the shrine is a congregation of sisters, the Missionaries of Divine Revelation, who wear a distinctive and unmistakable green habit.
In 1997, Pope St John Paul II granted the present title of "Our Lady of the Third Millennium", reserving approval of the title "Our Lady of Revelation". However, he did bless statues representing Our Lady as she appeared in the original vision.
This is one of two Marian pilgrimage shrines in the city. The larger, grander and more popular one is Santuario della Madonna del Divino Amore, but the quiet little sanctuary here has its own popularity and is a place of great devotion even if it has no artistic interest.
Appearance[edit | edit source]
The church is a low building in front of the grotto, which contains a venerated statue depicting Our Lady as she appeared in the visions. It is not really a cave, but was originally a niche in the rock-face overlooking the road.
A porch with a flat concrete roof and four spindly pillars stretches across the width of the frontage, and takes up half of the church area. The actual church focuses on the little grotto, which has been given a stone border and is located behind the altar. The statue has a distinctive green mantle, which is the distinguishing feature of the apparitions.
The church roof is partly flat, but the central section on the axis of the entrance has a parabolic tunnel vault. The end of this over the entrance is filled with a large stained-glass window.
Access[edit | edit source]
Those wishing to visit are advised to check the actual position of the shrine on its website (link below). Other online map providers have been giving erroneous directions.
By public transport, you get here by the 761 bus which runs between the metro stations at Laurentina and San Paolo. The shrine shares the bus stop with the Abbey of Tre Fontane.
The parking at the shrine is adequate.
Liturgy[edit | edit source]
Mass is celebrated (unofficial source, June 2018):
Weekdays 10:30, 18:30.
Sundays 9:00, 10:30, 12:00, 17:00, 18:30.
[edit | edit source]
Website of the shrine (unofficial)