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Rome - Chiesa del Sacro Cuore del Suffragio

From Wikipedia:

The Chiesa del Sacro Cuore del Suffragio (Italian for Church of the Sacred Heart of the Suffrage), is a catholic place of worship in the centre of Rome rising in the rione Prati, hosting the Parish with the same name, entrusted to the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart.
The church, designed by engineer Giuseppe Gualandi, is sometimes referred as the "little Duomo di Milano" due to its rich neogothic style.

History
In 1893, the Missionary of the Sacred Heart Victor Jouët, born in Marseille, founded in Rome the Associazione del Sacro Cuore del Suffragio delle Anime del Purgatorio (Italian for Association of the Sacred Heart of the Suffrage of the Purgatory Souls), having the aim to spread the worship to the Sacred Heart and to the Virgin Mary. The former oratory of the Association rose in Via dei Cosmati; a second one, used between 1896 and 1914, was located on the Lungotevere Prati, into a ground that the founder had bought in order to build a bigger church, whose foundation stone was blessed in 1894 by Joseph-Jean-Louis Robert, Bishop of Marseille.
The construction of the new church began in 1908 and the design was committed to engineer Giuseppe Gualandi, who chose a style inspired by French Gothic architecture. In 1914, the Association moved to the church of St. Joseph Calasanz in Via Cavallini, since the old chapel was partially demolished in order to allow the completion of the new church; the building, completed in 1917, was blessed and opened to worship on November 1 of the same year. The parish was founded on December 10. On May 17, 1921, the church was consecrated by Pietro Benedetti, Archbishop of Tyre, its first vicar.

Description

Façade
The façade with salients, entirely made with reinforced concrete, underlines the internal subdivision into three naves thanks to six quadrangular piers, each surmounted by a spire. In the lower part are three portals whose embrasure is decorated by little columns made of red Verona marble; each portal is surmounted by a wimperg and decorated with a marble lunette hosting a bas-relief: the central lunette portrays the Souls of Purgatory, the one on the right the Deposition of Christ and the one on the left the Resurrection of Christ; the wimperg above the central portal shows a high-relief portraying the Sacred Heart of Jesus between two Angels. In correspondence to each of the side naves there is a high triphora, while the central nave corresponds to a big esaphora including a rose window showing a richly decorated trestle. The façade ends aloft with a thin octagonal bell tower: it is surmounted by a cross that host an earth-shaped ex-voto, donated by Victor Jouët.
The decorations of the façade, formerly made with artificial stone, has been replaced, starting from 1960, by statues made with St. Gotthard stone, though identical to the original ones. They include gothic-inspired architectural features and nineteen statues of saints, personally chosen by Pope Pius X; they are positioned within recesses above the slopes of the central nave (from left: St. Augustine, St. Peter Apostle, St. Joseph, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, St. John Evangelist, St. Paul Apostle and St. Odo of Cluny), of the nave on the right (from left: St. Victor, St. Francis of Assisi and St. Nicholas of Tolentino), of the nave on the left (from left: St. Francis Xavier, St. Dominic of Guzmán and St. Michael Archangel) and close to the six pillars, placed on shelves (from left: St. Bernard of Clairvaux, St. Gregory the Great, St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, St. Catherine of Genoa, St. Anthony of Padua and St. Patrick.[17]

Museo delle anime del Purgatorio
Next to the church, within the sacristy, is the Museo delle anime del Purgatorio (Museum of the Souls of Purgatory), whose entry is a door in the sixth span of the nave on the right.
On July 2, 1897 a miraculous occurrence happened in the Chapel of the Association of the Sacred Heart of the Suffrage of the Purgatory Souls, when, during a fire, the soul of a deceaded appeared to the attendance and his effigy was impressed on the wall; hereafter Victor Jouët decided to search for testimonies (documents and looms) about the appearances of the souls of Purgatory and to collect them in a museum close to the church.

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Additional Photos by Romano Lattanzi (Romano46) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1089 W: 0 N: 2642] (16578)
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