The church of San Gioacchino ai Prati was built to honour the fiftieth anniversary of the ordination to the priesthood of Pope Leo XIII (r. 1878-1903). It was dedicated to St Joachim, the father of the Virgin Mary (Leo XIII was born Gioacchino Pecci).
The church, which was designed by Raffaele Ingami (1838-1908), was consecrated on June 6th, 1911. The pope's portrait appears twice, in the mosaic on the facade, and in one of the many beautiful stained glass windows.
Uniquely, the church of San Gioacchino ai Prati is crowned with a metal finial that takes the form of monstrance, the receptacle in which the consecrated host is displayed.
My name is David Lown and I am an art historian from Cambridge, England. Since 2001 I have lived in Italy, where I run private and
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