Église Madonna Della Difesa

Church in Little Italy, Mile End & Outremont

Our Lady of Protection Church was built in 1919 according to the drawings of Florence-born Guido Nincheri (1885–1973), who spent the next two decades working on the Roman Byzantine structure. The artist painted the church’s remarkable frescoes, including one of Mussolini on horseback with a bevy of generals in the background. The work honored the formal recognition by Rome of the pope’s sovereignty over Vatican City in 1929 and was unveiled a few years later as Hitler came to power.

During WWII, Nincheri and others who had worked on the building were interned by the Canadian authorities. The fresco can be viewed above the high marble altar.