Rome, December 3, 2002 – The new artistic lighting for the facade of the church of Gesù, located in the piazza of the same name, was inaugurated today. The lighting was created by So.l.e., Enel’s dedicated public lighting company, with the support of lottery group Gioco del Lotto-Lottomatica. The new lighting, designed in agreement with the pertinent authorities, lifts the splendid Chiesa Madre della Compagnia di Gesù, a masterpiece by Giacomo della Porta, out of the darkness to which it had been condemned. The facade can now be enjoyed at night, bathed in light from 12 circular and rectangular projectors that illuminate the shield bearing the monogram of Christ above the entrance and the statues of Saints Francesco Saverio and Ignazio di Loyola in the niches next to the entrance. Two linear installations placed on the facade illuminate the ornamental window balcony over the main entry. The installation is reversible and can be removed without any harm to the building opposite the church. The system is also designed for optimum energy efficiency. The inauguration took place at the end of a solemn celebration in honour of Saint Francesco Saverio, conducted by cardinal Crescenzio Sepe. The other celebrants included Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, Generale della Compagnia di Gesù, monsignor Giuseppe Pittau and the Rector of the Università Urbaniana, don Ambrogio Spreafico. Many other lay and church authorities participated, including Enel Chairman Piero Gnudi and the Chairman of Lottomatica Marco Staderini. “We are delighted – said Gnudi – in our capacity as technical partners, through our group So.l.e. which boasts significant skills in illumination technology, to have contributed to give new light to the facade of the Chiesa del Gesù, a symbol for the entire religious community of Rome and the world, and a splendid example of the contribution of Compagnia di Gesù to the birth of the baroque”. “We accepted the project for the illumination of the Chiesa del Gesù with enthusiasm – added Staderini – because we believe it important to support initiatives aimed at enhancing the country’s artistic and cultural heritage. This project is also testimony to Gioco del Lotto and Lottomatica’s continuing commitment to the dissemination of art and culture to an ever wider public”. The celebration coincided with the 450th anniversary of the death of Saint Francesco Saverio; a well known figure, even outside catholic circles, and particularly in Asia. A Spaniard from Navarra, a brilliant student at the Sorbonne in Paris, he knew Saint Ignatius Loyola and was a founder of the Compagnia di Gesù. He is considered the greatest missionary of the modern era. He brought the Gospel to the great cultures of the east, adapting them with sure, apostolic sense to the character of the various populations. His missionary journeys included a particularly significant sojourn in India, where he is universally known and revered, and touched Japan. He died on December 3, 1552, on the island of Sancian (China) amid preparations to bring the Gospel to China. He is of particular relevance today given the cultural exchange and dialogue between the East and the West.

Chiesa del Gesù Inglese.PDF

PDF (0.06MB) Download