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Typology: Parish Church


Address: Via Cassia, 1
Zone: Quartiere Della Vittoria (Roma centro)


Opening times

For the timetable of the masses and visiting conditions, please use the contacts above.


The Great Mother of God Parish was desired by Pope Pius XI in 1931 to commemorate the 15th centenary of the Council of Ephesus, in which, against the heresy of Nestorius, the divine motherhood of Mary was proclaimed.

In memory of the historic event, Sixtus III (432-440) dedicated the great Marian Basilica of the Esquiline to the Mother of God. On the aforementioned centuries-old anniversary, Pius XI wanted to give Rome another Marian Church. It was designed by Cesare Bazzani and built by Clemente Busiri Vici in the neoclassical style. Precisely because it was wanted as an important monument to celebrate one of the 4 Marian dogmas (Mary is Immaculate - conceived without original sin -, Mary is Virgin before, during and after childbirth, Mary is Mother of God, Mary is assumed into heaven in body and soul), it was built with a certain solemnity and grandeur.

The then Cardinal Vicar Francesco Marchetti Selvaggiani wanted the new temple to rise on the banks of the Tiber on a typically Roman backdrop of the Milvian Bridge, a particularly significant place for the history of the Church itself, not far from the place where, after the appearance of the Cross to Constantine who defeated Maxentius, the freedom of the Church was practically born, after the long cycle of persecutions, right where pilgrims from all over the world had been arriving since the earliest times to the Holy City.

At Ponte Milvio in fact two great consular arteries converge, the Flaminia and the Cassia, the ancient Via Francigena that pilgrims from the north travelled to reach Rome. Bazzani was inspired in his design by a similar sacred complex erected on the banks of the Po by the people of Turin in honour of the Great Mother of God. It was consecrated in 1933, the year of the extraordinary Jubilee of the Redemption, and on the eve of a great Marian solemnity: the feast of the Immaculate Conception. Occupying an area of 2000 square metres, it is in the shape of a Greek cross, with a central columned entrance and two side entrances set in curvilinear elements to great effect.

 The large dome, surmounted by a slender 'lantern', the arches, the columns, and the cusps of the two bell towers, give the monumental complex momentum and movement. The interior, bright and sober, is dominated by the pylons and arches of the dome, while the apses house the gathered chapels. The beautifully designed floor is made of Carrara marble. A beautiful fresco in the apsidal basin was created by Morgante over the years.

Last checked: 2022-07-13 10:56