To see the other posts in the series, click here.
On this Memorial Day it is fitting that we should look at a military church.
So today we look at a tiny church on a side street that you would have never gone down had you not seen this post: the Church of the Most Holy Shroud (Chiesa del Santissimo Sudario). It is practically in the shadow of the massive nearby church of St. Andrew (Sant’Andrea della Valle), which is on one of the main thoroughfares through Rome.
This small church currently serves as a chapel for the Military Ordinariate of Italy; that is, it exists in some way for those in the military. The military’s web site for the church does not say exactly what they do with it. In any case, until recently it was always closed whenever I walked by it. But in the past few months it and another church used by the military in Rome were entrusted to the care of some sisters from the United States (click). So now it seems that they keep it open more often.
I forgot to take a photo of it from the street, so here is an image that I found on Wikipedia:
And here is the interior. I didn’t go up to the side altars. But the place is small. Small, but a jewel. There is some truly beautiful art and marble (and faux marble) work here. I’ll have to go back there when I have more time and look around a bit more.
For example, high above the altar is a stunning sculpture of God the Father with angels. Beneath that sculpture there is a replica of the Shroud of Turin.
From the information that I can find, it seems that there were churches on this site since medieval times, with the current one having been built in 1605, and updated for the baroque style in 1678. Desecrated by Napoleon’s troops in the early 19th century, it was restored and reconsecrated in 1856.
If you find this church open, it surely would be a quiet and lovely place to stop for a prayer. I note that the sisters have a beautiful and large statue of Our Lady of Fatima there by the altar rail.
Chiesa del Santissimo Sudario di Nostro Signore Gesù Cristo
Via del Sudario, 47
00186 Rome, Italy