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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2 Responses to Lesser-Known Roman Churches, Part I

  1. Janet Folse. says:

    Thank you so much for your postings. We took a whirlwind high school trip when my daughter was in the 9th grade(1984). We ate at the top of the Eiffel Tower for the 4th of July. Anyway it was 5 countries and their churches in 4 weeks. We were rushed in and rushed out. We were able to see Pope John Paul and he touched one of the students or shook his hand. And when we got home about two weeks later he drowned in a car accident. I would like to believe Pope John Paul was with him. Anyway I can see what we saw then and appreciate it, as I said we whizzed through everything, and after a while it was a blur of different churches, unfortunately and could not really reflect of what we were seeing. God Bless and keep all the pictures coming.

  2. evelynhill27 says:

    I really hope you will post more of these! I have been in Rome a few years and though I tend to wander in churches whenever I find them, I love hearing information or more specifically ones I should see!

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