The Jubilee Itinerary: Church of St. Mary Magdalene and the General Curia

maddalenaThe heart of the Camillian Order and the faithful of St. Camillus deLellis is the Church of St. Mary Magdalene with the adjacent Housethat has always been the seat of the General Curia of the Ministersof the Infirm, Camillians. Here lie the mortal remains of the Saintand some of his precious relics, and other personal mementos. The Church is one of the finest examples of Rococo in Rome. In 1586 the Church, a chapel built on the arch of the fourteenth century already owned by the Archconfraternity of the Gonfalon, was entrusted to Camillus de Lellis who made it the headquarters of the Camillian Order.

The presence of St. Camillus

At first, Camillus and his companions find lodging at a building located in Via delle Botteghe Oscure. However, since the building didn’t have a Church and an Oratory to celebrate Mass, they decided to look for a more suitable and spacious place. Passing one day in front of the Magdalene, Camillus enters to ask the indulgence of the Saint. While he is absorbed inprayer, he thinks that the Church may be the right place for the new congregation. The purchase of the General House and the transfer of the Camillians in Piazza della Maddalena mark a turning point in the intensification of the Camillian work of physical and spiritual assistance to the infirm. It is here that on July 14, 1614 Camillus passes away “with cheerful countenance, and eyes to Heaven, without horror, or other transformation of the face, which seemed rather to shine.” It’s Monday, at half past one at night, the day of St. Bonaventure. Camillus is just over 65 years old, 40 of which he has been devoted to God and to the Infirm.

What remains
IMG_1548Among the important relics preserved in the Churchof Saint Mary Magdalene, the Heart of the Saint, the Holy Crucifix that spoke to him twice, and other personal mementos. Each space, even the smallest, tells us about the extraordinary experience of St.Camillus to consecrate his life to the service of every infirm and suffering creature, even at the risk of his own life. Adjoining the Church is, in fact, also the room where Camillus died on July 14, 1614. The Saint’s body rests in the urn of the altar dedicated to him in the homonymous chapel inside the Church.
To see
IMG_2010Square and Church of St. Mary Magdalene: the rich decorations, precious marbles, stuccos and paintings inside the church were completed in the mid-eighteenth century. For the unity of style and richness of ornament, for the plant’s mixtilineal movement and the elegant play of masses in elevation, it is considered a classic example of Roman Baroque-Rococo.
Sacristy: the elegant fully rococo sacristy, one of Rome’s most beautiful and best preserved, with aprofusion of paintings, scrolls, gilts, and polychromies. In the right wall the sequence of cabinets in wood painted to resemble marble alternating with trompe-l’oeil window is remarkable. Choir and organ:of 1736 in gilded wood and whitestucco figures.
Museum: in the House which hosts the Order of the Ministers of the Infirm, adjacent and connected to theChurch of St. Mary Magdalene, there’s a museum whichhouses priceless relics and mementos of the Saint
The Pantheon, Rome, taken from the Albergo del Senato next to the Pantheon in Rome.

The Pantheon, Rome, taken from the Albergo del Senato next to the Pantheon in Rome.

Pantheon: built as a temple dedicated to all the gods of Olympus and converted into a Christian basilica during the seventh century under the name of Saint Mary of the Rotonda, from a friendly way to call it by the Roman citizens.

Largo di Torre Argentina: square situated in the ancient Rome’s Piazza di Campo Marzio, which hosts four Roman temples dating back to the Republic.
Piazza Navona:one ofthe most famous squaresof Rome. Its shape is that of an ancient stadium, andwas built in monumental style at the behest of PopeInnocent X (Giovanni Battista Pamphilij).
How to get ther
indexFrom termini station bus number 40.From Tiburtina station metro B to Termini station and thenbus number 40
Numbers 40, 130F, 190F, 492,62, 8, 87, 916, 30, 46, 571,70, 81, 87, 916F, get off at the Argentina stop. From Largodi Torre Argentina go for 140 metres on foot along Via TorreArgentina, cross Piazza Rotonda (Pantheon) and go straightto Piazza della Maddalena, n. 53