Lesser-Known Roman Churches, Part II

[first entry in the series here]

On a street behind the Basilica of St. Augustine (Sant’Agostino) – a street that is pretty much entirely off the usual tourist paths, but nevertheless is not far from all the usual sightseeing – there is a smallish church called St. Anthony of the Portuguese (Sant’Antonio dei Portoghesi). A center of culture, it has a fine organ and concerts are held on a regular basis – usually Sunday evenings. In addition, the church is notable for its bright and colorful marble walls and fixtures, where the marble is often bookmatched and otherwise arranged quite beautifully. St. Anthony’s is also kept very tidy, which cannot be said of all the churches in Rome.

Click to enlarge all the photos.

Here is the church’s facade, which is nothing too out of the ordinary for Roman churches, though this one is on much more of a smaller/neighborhood scale:

Image from Wikimedia Commons, since I forgot to photograph the outside.

The Marian altar, on the right side, featuring a lovely statue of Our Lady of Fátima; behind it is a painting that I think has to do with Isabel, the “Catholic Queen”:

NOTE: Altars are not plant stands!!! While nice flowers, they shouldn’t be there. Instead, there should be a proper altar cloth, and a vespral cover (to protect it from dust/dirt when not being used), and this altar should be used from time to time. Alas.

Here is the main altar in the sanctuary. Obviously the golden altar in front was added later, but I have the impression that it is an older altar that was taken from someplace else, since it has a Marian monogram on the front of it and various Marian symbols; perhaps it was previously in a Marian chapel somewhere:

The painting above the high altar is of the Blessed Mother with the child Jesus and St. Anthony (on the right).

Finally, here is the side altar across from the Blessed Mother, with a painting of the Sacred Heart. It is a unique image that I don’t recall having seen before – maybe of Portuguese origin? Not sure.

The flower police should visit this altar as well.

I would have taken more pictures, as there were a few other side chapels, but half of the nave was covered in scaffolding. In any case, this church would be well worth a visit, particularly for a moment of prayer.


Chiesa di Sant’Antonio dei Portoghesi
Via dei Portoghesi, 6
00186 Rome, Italy

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