The Sanctuary of Fatima juts out above the rooftops in Roma Norte. The striking modernist church was built between 1958 and 1962 for the Theatine congregation. The architect was Nicolás Mariscal, brother of the somewhat better known Federico Ernesto Mariscal. Yet Nicolás had designed in his own right, decades earlier, the stridently neoclassical Monumental Tribune in Chapultepec Park.
For visitors from out of town, the church certainly catches the eye. He is a prominent representative of our own section on 20th century religious architecture. The Sanctuary of Fatima has a central entrance flanked by two pole-shaped pillars. The huge cross not only announces the Christian vocation, but acts as a handle that holds the entire ceiling together. Inside, the church is as operatic as you might hope.
- The Theatines, in Mexico, the Teatinos, are the Congregation of Clerics Regular of the Divine Providence. Their post-nominal initials are thus “C.R.” The order was founded in 1524 by Saint Cajetan (Gaetano dei Conti di Thiene), in Chieti Italy. The Latin spelling of the town name is Theate, and thus the name. In Mexico City, their more prominent representative is the Church of Saint Cajetan in Lindavista. The Theatines also run another 30 or so parishes and sanctuaries, plus a hospital, across Mexico.
Badly damaged in the 1985 earthquake, the Church was saved with a serious structural intervention by José Creixell and José Hanhausen. Creixell is better-known for his own Church of the Immaculate Conception in Iztapalapa.