Lesser-Known Roman Churches, Part I

Armed with my new compact camera, including a case that I can wear on my belt (and so look like a serious tourist), I hope to start taking more pictures of things around Rome. Especially since this is my last year here. So, here begins what I hope will become something of a series, on lesser-known churches in Rome.

The first installment features the Church of St. Mary Magdalene, which is run by the religious order founded by St. Camillus de Lellis, commonly known as the “Camillians”, but formally known as the Clerics Regular, Ministers to the Sick.

This church is located about a block away from the Pantheon, so theoretically a lot of people would visit it. But in fact, give its particular location and the fact that there is not only a sort of fence enclosure around the steps but also cars often parked in front during the day, I suspect many people go right past it:

A beautiful roccoco facade. It looks relatively small from the outside, but upon entering one realizes that that was an optical illusion.

In this church there is a particular devotion to Our Lady, Health of the Sick. There were ex votos nearby this image, since our Blessed Mother constantly answers the prayers of those who seek her aid. However, I did not photograph those this time. Here is her side altar:

With a 16th century image of Our Lady, that has been crowned (see the crown sort of hovering above the frame).

Here is the main altar, which, as you can see, has bust-like reliquaries of two popes and two bishops. Since there were some other folks in the church, and in particular, a sacristan nearby, I refrained from getting really close to figure out who the relics were of. Note also the unfortunately-placed celebrant’s chair, in front of the tabernacle.

To say nothing of the beautiful reliefs flanking the altar or the painting of St. Mary Magdalene above it.

Looking up when standing in front of the sanctuary, one beholds the beautiful dome. In the dome’s lantern (the very top part that lets in light), there is a Holy Spirit dove.

Every church should have at least one of these.

Finally, here is a short of the impressive organ pipe casing. I am afraid the light glare makes it difficult to make out the jubilant angels and trumpets and so forth that adorn the pipes:

Another simple parish church.

Click the pictures to enlarge!

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