The facade of the Church of Jesus and Mary in Moricone, a simple hut with pitched roof, is in plastered brick, with marble cornicing around the entrance and a interrupted tympanum supported by side shelves the only elements in relief.
The top part holds a rectangular window with a light moulded cornice. The interior has a nave with a barrelled ceiling, three chapels on each side and a deep square apse, which holds a polychrome marble altar with intricate framing.
Heavy repainting has completely altered the original appearance. As a stone cemented into the front of the church attests, the church was consacrated in 1639 to the Holy Saviour and the Virgin Mary by Brandimarte Tomasi, the suffragan Bishop of Sabina, on invitation from the General Minister of the Piarist Fathers St. Joseph Calasanz.
The fenestrella confessionis of the main altar holds the relics of St. Gaudentius, St. Maximus and St. Vincent.
However, a smaller building, dedicated to the Holy Saviour already existed on the site, dating back to the 15th century at least, as it housed the painting of the Saviour now in the parish church. When St. Joseph Calasanz obtained permission from Prince Marco Antonio Borghese, nephew of Pope Paul V and from the Town of Moricone to set up a congregation of the Pious Schools to provide free education for children, the Hospital of St Anthony was made available to the Piarist Fathers to be used for the school and priests' quarters as was the Church of the Holy Saviour, for their place of worship. Both were outside the walls of the town (the donation dates to 19 October 1620).
It became clear very soon that the bad condition of the Hospital of St. Anthony made it unusable and construction began on a real convent placed next door to the church assigned to them.
The old church of the Holy Saviour was also “in a terrible state and almost falling down”. The Piarist Fathers took care of restoring it, reducing it by a couple of metres at the entrance, and it was decorously officiated.
The previous church must have been very old and probably belonged to the Abbey of Farfa. An apostolic visitation in 1636 by Cardinal Altieri records the main altar with the icon of the Saviour mentioned above and two minor altars dedicated to the Nativity and the Pietà which were probably decorated with frescoes. The same visit also mentions a new building “ a paucis annis constructa” built a few years ago, the church rebuilt by the Piarists.
Until the church was consecrated, the old building was used for celebrating mass but soon after was closed. Calasanz had authorized the building of the new church in 1631 and the first stone was laid on 19 May the same year, before the townspeople and the Borghese family. Following which, building work was very slow, partly because of lack of funds, and the church was not finished by 1636 when Altieri visited. It was solemnly consecrated on 19 May 1639 by Bishop Brandimarte Tomasi as the stone records, at the request of Father Stefano Cherubini degli Angeli, the General Minister of the Order, although it was certainly not yet finished.
The tabernacle of the main altar was actually set in place in 1641. The canonical visit of Father Giuseppe Fedele della Visitazione in 1642 records 6 chapels, dedicated to the Saviour, St. Cecilia, St. Athanasius, St. Charles Borromeo, St. Anthony Abbot and the Virgin Mary. The Piarist Fathers celebrated mass in their church until 1732. That year, the church was assigned to the diocese of Sabina and the Order of the Minims of St. Francis of Paola who remained there until 1807. Since 1839, it has been occupied by the Passionist Fathers.
In the last century, the Passionist Fathers were responsible for the destruction of the ancient church closed by Calasanz and the site used to complete the convent. The only surviving testimony of the old building is a fragment of fresco on the wing of a cross arched ceiling showing St. John Evangelist, which dates to the 16th century. The same Order also carried out a recent restructuring of the building, eliminating the side altars except one dedicated to the Blessed Bernardo Maria Silvistrelli, who died in holiness in 1911 and was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1988.
The church has become the centre of pilgrimage since Silvistrelli's remains have been kept here.