Jubilee Church in Rome

Richard Meier – Church of God the Merciful Father, Rome Italy, 1996-2003

The Jubilee Church, formally known as Chiesa di Dio Padre Misericordioso (Italian for Church of God the Merciful Father), is a Catholic church and community center in Tor Tre Teste in Rome. According to Richard Meier, its architect, it is "the crown jewel of the Vicariato di Roma's (Archdiocese of Rome) Millennium project" (p. 354). The Church serves eight thousand residents of the Tor Tre Teste area and was meant to socially "revive" Tor Tre Teste. The characteristics of this Church are manifold.

Often only those of a technical nature are considered, as it truly is an engineering as well as an architectural masterpiece, but those of a spiritual and liturgical nature are also of considerable importance. Although it is a modern church, it follows in a certain sense the classic image of the Catholic religious building, in particular the "Gothic" for its height and its slender facade at the top with the bell tower next to it. The shape of the nave takes up the idea of a boat, the "Pietro boat". In the Christian tradition, the "BOAT" has always represented the Church as the "People of God" led by "Peter", the Pope.
This Church commissioned by Pope John Paul II in memory of the Jubilee of 2000, in the architect's idea, was to represent the "boat of the Church" that plows the seas of the Third Millennium and, in a translated way, thanks to its position, the " local church boat "(the parish) that plows the neighborhood.

The three sails above the nave and the weekday chapel symbolize the Trinity and the larger sail wants to give the feeling of the protection of God over the Christian community. In fact, although the entire structure is covered consistently, both vertically and horizontally by the glass, the sun never enters the Church directly, except at a particular time in the afternoon, especially in the summer, when, from a small window at the top of the behind the presbytery, its light from outside illuminates the crucifix placed inside. The Tabernacle is in an apparently non-central position, because it is located on the right corner of the working chapel; this is not because it does not matter, but exactly the opposite, since from that position it is possible to see it also from the main nave. The three sails are a completely innovative structure from an engineering and architectural point of view.

These are self-supporting structures, thanks to a steel cable network that connects the 256 panels that make them up (called "ashlars"), each weighing 12 tons. To assemble and assemble the ashlars, a machine called "overhead crane" 38 meters high was built which was then dismantled at the end of the works. It raised the ashlar up to a maximum height of 26 meters, placing it with pinpoint accuracy in the required position, avoiding any swing and movement. No crane in the world could have done the same … The altar in its form takes up the image of the boat and is placed in the west unlike what is generally foreseen, or at least predicted, the structure of the presbytery. This is because in the Christian symbolism the sun has always indicated Jesus "light of the world" and the positioning of the altar in the east wanted to emphasize the place where Jesus comes to be present (rises) through the Eucharistic Celebration, exactly as in the east it rises the sun.
In this church, to the east, there is the facade of the nave, the bow of the boat, so to speak, while the altar is located at the "stern" where generally the engine of a ship is found. The Eucharist is the engine that drives the boat of the Church.
Source: Wikipedia -

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