The Info List - San Lorenzo Fuori Le Mura

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The Papal Basilica
Papal Basilica
of Saint Lawrence
Saint Lawrence
outside the Walls (Italian: Basilica Papale di San Lorenzo fuori le Mura) is a Roman Catholic Papal[1] minor basilica and parish church, located in Rome, Italy. The Basilica is one of the Seven Pilgrim Churches of Rome
and one of the five former "patriarchal basilicas", each of which was assigned to the care of a Latin Church
Latin Church
patriarchate. The Basilica was assigned to the Patriarchate of Jerusalem. The Basilica is the shrine of the tomb of its namesake, Saint Lawrence
Saint Lawrence
(sometimes spelled "Laurence"), one of the first seven deacons of Rome
who was martyred in 258. Many other saints and Bl. Pope Pius IX
Pope Pius IX
are also buried at the Basilica, which is the center of a large and ancient burial complex.


1 History 2 Burials 3 Notes 4 Bibliography 5 External Links

History[edit] Before the present-day Basilica was constructed, the former estate upon which it sits was once home to a small oratory built by Emperor Constantine I. The Emperor built it over the site on which it tradition held that St. Lawrence
St. Lawrence
was executed in 258. In the 580s, Pope Pelagius II
Pope Pelagius II
commissioned the construction of a church over the site in honor of the Saint. In the 13th century, Pope Honorius III commissioned the construction of another church in front of the older one. It was adorned with frescos depicting the lives of Saint Lawrence and the first martyred deacon, St. Stephen, who is interred with St. Lawrence in the crypt, or confessio, under the high altar. The two structures were later[when?] united during a program of urban renewal. Excavations have revealed several other crypts of various persons, buried below the contemporary street level. Pope St. Hilarius is also buried here. The portico of circa 1220 has Cosmatesque
decoration by the Vassalletto family of craftsmen. The 13th-century frescoes, which were reconstructed,[clarification needed] depict scenes from the lives of St. Lawrence
St. Lawrence
and St. Stephen, both being martyred, young deacons. There are two ancient sarcophagi in the portico: a Christian one, possibly decorated in the 7th century on an older sarcophagus, has a relief depicting putti (cherubs) picking grapes. While vines and grapes are symbols of the Holy Eucharist, these images are probably not symbols thereof. Further, two Romanesque stone lions were moved here from the old entrance. The campanile was built in the 12th century. Immediately inside the entrance is the tomb of Guglielmo Cardinal Fieschi, who died in 1256, but was entombed in an ancient sarcophagus, itself being incidentally carved with a relief depicting a pagan marital feast. Inside, the choir enclosure and pulpit have Cosmatesque
decoration, and there is also a fine Cosmatesque
Paschal candlestick from the 12th or 13th century. The antique Ionic capital on the column directly behind the pulpit has carvings of a frog and a lizard. On the triumphal arch are Byzantine mosaics
Byzantine mosaics
from the 6th century, depicting Christ with saints. The confessio below the high altar is entered from the nave. Here, St. Lawrence
St. Lawrence
and St. Stephen
St. Stephen
are enshrined. The latter was transferred from Constantinople
by Pope Pelagius II
Pope Pelagius II
during his restoration of the Basilica. Behind the high altar is a Papal altar with an inscription of the names of the makers, namely the Cosmati family, and dating it to 1148. The Basilica was home to the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem
Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem
from 1374 to 1847. In 1943 the Basilica was bombed during the Second World War. Restoration continued until 1948, allowing some accretions from the 19th century to be removed. However, the frescoes on the facade were destroyed. Burials[edit]

of Rome
and martyr St. Lawrence Proto-martyr St. Stephen Pope St. Hilarius Bl. Pope Pius IX Italian Prime Minister Alcide De Gasperi, a founding father of the European Union
European Union
(near the entrance in a tomb sculpted by Giacomo Manzù) Pope Pius XII's parents (Filippo (d. 1916) & Virginia (née Graziosi) Pacelli (d. 1920)); their remains were blasted off during an Allied bombing raid in 1943, re-interred in a single crypt after the War


^ Pope Benedict XVI’s ecclesiastical act of renouncing the title of "Patriarch of the West" in 2006 had as a consequence that the Roman Catholic "patriarchal basilicas" were officially re-styled "Papal basilicas".


Wikimedia Commons has media related to Saint Lawrence
Saint Lawrence
outside the Walls.

Mondini, Daniela, S. Lorenzo fuori le mura, in: P. C. Claussan, D. Mondini, D. Senekovic, Die Kirchen der Stadt Rom im Mittelalter 1050-1300, Band 3 (G-L), Stuttgart 2010, pp. 317–527, ISBN 978-3-515-09073-5 Webb, Matilda (2001). "San Lorenzo Fuori le Mura and Catacomb". The Churches and Catacombs of Early Christian Rome. Brighton: Sussex Academic Press. pp. 240–245. ISBN 1-902210-58-1.  A. Muñoz, La Basilica di S.Lorenzo fuori le mura, Roma 1944. G. Da Bra, S.Lorenzo fuori le mura, Roma 1952 R. Krautheimer, Corpus basilicarum christianarum Romae, S.Lorenzo fuori le mura, Città del Vaticano 1962.

External Links[edit]

High-resolution 360° Panoramas and Images of San Lorenzo fuori le Mura Art Atlas

v t e

Basilicas in Rome


Archbasilica of St. John Lateran St. Peter's Basilica Basilica of Saint Mary Major Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls


S. Lorenzo fuori le mura S. Agnese fuori le mura S. Agostino S. Anastasia al Palatino S. Andrea delle Fratte S. Andrea della Valle S. Antonio da Padova in Via Merulana S. Apollinare alle Terme Ss. Apostoli S. Balbina S. Bartolomeo all'Isola Ss. Bonifacio e Alessio S. Camillo de Lellis S. Carlo al Corso S. Cecilia in Trastevere Ss. Celso e Giuliano S. Clemente Ss. Cosma e Damiano S. Crisogono S. Croce in Via Flaminia S. Croce in Gerusalemme S. Eugenio S. Eustachio S. Francesca Romana S. Giovanni a Porta Latina S. Giovanni dei Fiorentini Ss. Giovanni e Paolo S. Lorenzo in Damaso S. Lorenzo in Lucina S. Maria Ausiliatrice S. Marco S. Maria degli Angeli S. Maria in Cosmedin S. Maria in Domnica S. Maria in Aracoeli S. Maria del Popolo S. Maria sopra Minerva S. Maria in Trastevere S. Maria in Via S. Maria in Via Lata S. Maria della Vittoria S. Martino ai Monti Ss. Nereo e Achilleo S. Nicola in Carcere S. Pancrazio Pantheon S. Pietro in Vincoli S. Prassede S. Pudenziana Ss. Quattro Coronati S. Saba S. Sabina Sacro Cuore di Maria Sacro Cuore di Cristo Re Sacro Cuore di Gesù a Castro Pretorio S. Sebastiano fuori le mura S. Silvestro in Capite S. Sisto Vecchio S. Sofia a Via Boccea S. Stefano Rotondo S. Teresa S. Vitale

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WorldCat Identities VIAF: 123599