The Santa Maria delle Vergini Church is a church in the Via delle Vergini in the Trevi neighborhood of Romi. The official name of this church is Santa Rita da Cascia alle Vergini.
Santa Maria delle Vergini Church Rome
Address and Opening Hours
The address of the church is Via delle Vergini, although the entrance is in Via dell’Umiltà, 83/B. The phone number is +39 066784031.
History and Description
The history of the Chiesa di Santa Maria dell Vergini begins in 1593. In that year, Father Pompei Pateri founded the Collegio della Santissima Madonna del Rifugio on the site where the Villa Pallavicini-Rospigliosi is today.
The backers for the construction were three ancient Roman women (including Ortensia Colonna) of aristocratic background. The asylum was intended for poor unmarried women and orphans.
When in the early 17th century, the Palazzo Pallavicini-Rospigliosi was built, the Collegio had to give way and the Father of Pope Paul V Borghese was given permission to rebuild it on its present site.
In 1613 it adopted the rules of St. Augustine and was renamed Santa Maria delle Vergini Assunta in Cielo.
Two years later, the Santa Maria delle Vergine Church was built next to the college. This church soon proved too small and in 1634 the architect Francesco Peparelli was given the task of renovating it.
In 1656, a new convent was built by Domenico Castelli (under the supervision of Gian Lorenzo Bernini). its construction took four years.
In 1870, the convent was appropriated by the state.
When the Santa Rita Church (now in Via Montanara) was destroyed, the Santa Maria delle Vergine Church was assigned to the Brotherhood of the Santissima Spina della Corona di Nostro Signore Gesù Cristo and of Santa Rita da Cascia. In honor of the latter, blessed roses are given out every year, on the feast day of this saint.
The, only sparsely decorated, façade is by Matthia de’ Rossi. It is divided into two levels. The portal has an architrave with the words Ecclesia S. Ritae. Above this is a tympanum with a winged putto in the triangle.
The upper part is characterized by a large window under a triangular tympanum.
The bell tower dates from 1689.
Interior and Works of Art
The church has a Greek floor plan. It is richly decorated with works of art from the Baroque era.
Filippo Carcani is the artist who was responsible for the church’s plasterwork.
Ludovico Gimignani painted the fresco “Holy Trinity” under the arch of the main chapel. (Another work painted by Gimignani, the Assunta, or “Assumption of Mary,” has been moved to the Santa Pudenziana Church.
The dome has been decorated with the ceiling painting Gloria del Paradiso (1695), attributed to Michelangelo Ricciolini.
The chapel to the left of the entrance is the Chapel of Lourdes, built in 1912 in the shape of a grotto.
The main altar of the church is inside a canopy graced with angels.