Santuario de Fátima, Roma Norte

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church of fatima roma
Photo: Catedrales e Iglesias/Cathedrals and Churches, Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)


The Shrine of Fatima (Santuario de Fátima) stands way out above the rooftops in Roma Norte. The startling 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. In his own right though, Nicolás had, decades earlier, designed the stridently Neo-Classical Tribuna Monumental in Chapultepec Park.

For out of town visitors, the church certainly catches the eye. It’s a prominent representative of our own section on 20th Century Religious Architecture. The Fatima Shrine has a central entranceway flanked by two pylon-like pillars. The enormous cross doesn’t just announce the Christian vocation, but acts a tie-bar keeping the whole roof together. Inside, the church is every bit as operatic as you might hope for.

  • The Theatines, in Mexico, the Teatinos, are the Congregation of Clerics Regular of the Divine Providence. They’re 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.

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