Sant'Anastasia al Palatino

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
St. Anasthasia (in English)
Sancti Anastasiæ (in Latin)
Basilica di Sant-Anastasia Rome 2011 1.jpg
AffiliationRoman Catholic
Ecclesiastical or organizational statusTitular church
LeadershipEugenio Dal Corso
LocationItaly Rome, Italy
Architect(s)Luigi Arrigucci
StyleBaroque architecture
Groundbreaking4th century

Sant'Anastasia is a basilica and titular church for cardinal-priests in Rome, Italy.


Sant'Anastasia was built in the late 3rd century - early 4th century, possibly by a Roman woman named Anastasia. The church is listed under the titulus Anastasiae in the acts of the 499 synod. Later the church was entitled to the martyr with the same name, Anastasia of Sirmium. Melchiorri in his 19th century guide of Rome, mentions a Roman matron by the name of Apollonia founded the church.[1]

The church was restored several times: Pope Damasus I (366-383), Pope Hilarius (461-468), Pope John VII (705-707), Pope Leo III (795-816), Pope Gregory IV (827-844), Pope Innocent III (1201), and Pope Sixtus IV (1471). The current church dates to a restoration in 1656 commissioned by Pope Urban VII from Luigi Arrigucci. This restoration repaired the collapsed portico and facade.[2] Architect Carlo Gimach restored the church between 1721 and 1722.[3] In 1817, under Pope Pius VII, another refurbishment took place.[4]

Traditionally, the church is connected to the cult of St Jerome, who possibly celebrated mass here. The saint is depicted over the altar, by Domenichino.

Art and architecture[edit]

Ceiling with the 1722 fresco (Martyrdom of Anastasia) by Cerruti
Main altar statue of St Anastasia by Ferrata

The last restoration, after the restoration during the papacy of Sixtus IV, occurred in 1636, when the facade, with lower doric and upper ionic order, was reconstructed in 1636, after the cyclone of 1634. The nave is flanked by pilasters that incorporate Ancient Roman marble and granite columns, putatively from the former Temple of Neptune on the Palatine.

The ceiling is colorfully decorated with elaborate framed designs (cassetone) and has a central frescoed panel depicting the Martyrdom of Anastasia (1722) by Michelangelo Cerruti; the work was pursued under the patronage of the Cardinal Nuno Cardeal da Cunha e Ataíde. The presbytery was richly decorated in 1705 with marble by the Febei family rebuilt with an endowment of the cardinal Giambattista Costaguti. Under the main altar is said to sheltered the relics of the titular saint. The main altarpiece behind the altar depicts a Nativity by Lazzaro Baldi. The altar at the base houses a statue of Saint Anastasia by Ercole Ferrata. The recumbent sculpture of the dying saint, laid atop a flaming pyre, was influenced by Bernini's Beata Ludovica Albertoni.

The first chapel to the right, near the entrance, has a painting of St John the Baptist by Pier Francesco Mola. While the last chapel on the right has a fresco depicting Scenes from the lives of Saints Carlo Borromeo and Filippo Neri by Lazzaro Baldi. The right transept has a painting of St Toribio (1726) by Francesco Trevisani. The left transept has a Madonna of the Rosary also by Baldi, and the tomb of Cardinal and philologist Angelo Mai by the late neoclassical sculptor Giovanni Maria Benzoni. The last chapel to the left, is dedicated to St Jerome, and has an altarpiece depicting this saint by Domenichino. The chalice used by the saint was said to be housed in this chapel. The other chapel has a Saints Giorgio and Bishop Publio by Etienne Parrocel.[5]

Cardinal Protectors[edit]

The current Cardinal Priest of the Titulus S. Anastasiae is Godfried Danneels. Past holders have included Boso, a Bishop of Turin, and John Morton, an Archbishop of Canterbury.


  1. ^ Guida metodica di Roma e suoi contorni, by Giuseppe Melchiorri, Rome (1836); page 289.
  2. ^ Melchiorri, page 289.
  3. ^ Roma (in Italian). Touring Editore. 1999. p. 475. ISBN 9788836513246.
  4. ^ Melchiorri, page 289.
  5. ^ Melchiorri page 290.

Coordinates: 41°53′17.05″N 12°29′03.08″E / 41.8880694°N 12.4841889°E / 41.8880694; 12.4841889