Santissimo Corpo e Sangue di Cristo is a late 20th century parish church at Via Narni 19, off the Via Tuscolana in the Tuscolano quarter and near the Tuscolana train station. Pictures of the church on Wikimedia Commons are here.
The dedication is to the Body and Blood of Christ (that is, the Eucharistic elements of the Mass).
The Missionaries of the Precious Blood used to have their Generalate (headquarters) at Santa Maria in Trivio. However, in 1964 they opened a huge new complex in a quiet suburban location near the Stazione Tuscolana. This was intended to be a seminary for the congregation as well as the headquarters, and was provided with a well-appointed chapel (see Cappella dei Missionari del Preziosissimo Sangue).
The parish was founded in 1972, and has been administered by the Missionari since then. Initially it worshipped in a temporary building, on the corner of Via Narni and Via Assisi. However it had to wait for its permanent church, which was designed by Aldo Aloysi and opened in 1991 (the temporary church has been left alone, and is still there).
Old church Edit
The first church, put up in 1972, is worth a glance. It is a simple rectangular edifice in yellow brick, surrounded in front and along both sides by low single-storey wings with interesting windows having a cross shape. You can see the frontage peeping over the front wing, having a molded false cornice with a truncated gable tip bearing a cross finial.
Layout and fabric Edit
The new church is located away from the street, in a gated enclosure, and lacks a civic presence. It is a low rectangular building, typical of the architect, and is also rather short of distinguishing architectural features. The fabric is in reinforced concrete throughout.
The plan is based on a square made up of nine smaller unit squares, which show on the flat roof as a grid of concrete beams supported by slab piers. The middle unit square of the frontage is extended forward as a rectangle, creating an entrance foyer. An attached corridor runs along the face of the left hand side of the frontage from this foyer, and this leads to the ferial chapel which is another flat-roofed square appended to the near left side wall. The chapel is incorporated into the ancillary block containing parish rooms and priests' accommodation, which parallels the church down the left hand side.
The walls are in bright white, with a row of rectangular windows below the roofline running from the entrance foyer to the apse down both sides.
The flat roof has four skylights in its central unit square, and a single square skylight set diagonally over the altar. The level of the roof of the central frontage unit is slightly higher than the rest.
The entrance has an external porch, a flat concrete slab bearing the dedication and year of consecration, and supported by a pair of square concrete piers set diagonally. Above the porch is a large stained glass window filling the space between it and the roofline. On the horizontal roofline above this is a large cross made of metal rods.
The plain interior is just a large space, with pale grey walls except for the back wall of the sanctuary which is a pale yellow ochre.
The deliberately dominant architectural feature is the ceiling, since the repeated motif of three squares is a Trinitarian symbol. The exposed concrete beams divide the ceiling into nine unit squares, and each unit square is coffered in recessed squares numbering forty-nine (seven by seven). The coffering is echoed by the rows of clear glass windows at the tops of the walls, seven in each wall side of a unit square.
However, the wall behind the altar is blank except for a wooden crucifix.
The unit square of the roof over the altar has a diagonally set square skylight with a deep frame. The central unit square has four square skylights, surrounded by single rows of coffering.
The font is on the right hand side, and the free-standing tabernacle to the left. These, together with the ambo, are by Giorgio Fiordelli, a native Roman artist.
According to the Diocese, Mass is celebrated:
Weekdays 8:30, 18:30;
Sundays and Solemnities 8:30, 10:00 (not summer), 11:30, 18:30.
There is Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament from 17:00 to 18:00 on Thursdays.