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Churches of Rome

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Santa Maria in Montesanto and Santa Maria dei Miracoli, two of the many churches of Rome, Italy.

There are more than 900 churches in Rome, which makes it the city with the largest number of churches in the world.[1] Almost all of these are Catholic.

The first churches of Rome originated in places where Christians met. They were divided into three main categories:[2]

  1. the houses of private Roman citizens (people who hosted the meetings of Christians – also known as oratoria, oracula)
  2. the deaconries (places where charity distributions were given to the poor and placed under the control of a deacon; the greatest deaconries had many deacons, and one of them was elected[citation needed] archdeacon)
  3. other houses holding a titulus (known as domus ecclesia)


Pope Marcellus I (A.D. 306–308) is said to have recognized twenty five tituli in the City of Rome, quasi dioecesis.[3] It is known that in 336, Pope Julius I had set the number of presbyter cardinals to 28,[4] so that for each day of the week, a different presbyter cardinal would say mass in one of the four major basilicas of Rome, St. Peter's, Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls, Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, and Basilica of St. John Lateran.[5] In Stephan Kuttner's view, "...the Roman cardinal priests and bishops were 'incardinated' for permanent (though limited) purposes into the patriarchal basilicas while remaining bound nonetheless to the churches of their original ordination."[6]

Only the tituli were allowed to distribute sacraments.[dubiousdiscuss] The most important priest in a titulus was given the name of Cardinal.[7] Pope Marcellus I (at the beginning of the 4th century) confirmed that the tituli were the only centres of administration in the Church. In AD 499, a synod held by Pope Symmachus listed all the presbyters participating, as well as the tituli who were present at that time:[8]

  1. Titulus Aemilianae (Santi Quattro Coronati)
  2. Titulus Anastasiae (Santa Anastasia)
  3. Titulus SS Apostolorum (Santi Apostoli)
  4. Titulus Byzantis or Vizantis (unknown, perhaps "Titulus Pammachii")
  5. Titulus S Caeciliae (Santa Cecilia in Trastevere)
  6. Titulus Clementis (San Clemente)
  7. Titulus Crescentianae (San Sisto Vecchio)
  8. Titulus Crysogoni (San Crisogono)
  9. Titulus Cyriaci (Uncertain; theories include Santa Maria Antiqua and Santa Maria in Domnica)
  10. Titulus Damasi (San Lorenzo in Damaso)
  11. Titulus Equitii (San Martino ai Monti)
  12. Titulus Eusebi (Sant'Eusebio)
  13. Titulus Fasciolae (Santi Nereo e Achilleo)
  14. Titulus Gaii (Santa Susanna)
  15. Titulus Iulii (Santa Maria in Trastevere, identical with Titulus Callixti)
  16. Titulus Lucinae (San Lorenzo in Lucina)
  17. Titulus Marcelli (San Marcello al Corso)
  18. Titulus Marci (San Marco)
  19. Titulus Matthaei (in Via Merulana, destroyed in 1810)
  20. Titulus Nicomedis (in Via Nomentana, destroyed)
  21. Titulus Pammachii (Santi Giovanni e Paolo (Rome))
  22. Titulus Praxedis (Santa Prassede)
  23. Titulus Priscae (Santa Prisca)
  24. Titulus Pudentis (Santa Pudenziana)
  25. Titulus Romani (unknown, perhaps either Santa Maria Antiqua or Santa Maria in Domnica; whichever, the "Titulus Cyriaci" was not)
  26. Titulus S Sabinae (Santa Sabina)
  27. Titulus Tigridae (uncertain, perhaps Santa Balbina)
  28. Titulus Vestinae (San Vitale)

"Seven Pilgrim Churches of Rome"[edit]

In the time of Pope Alexander II (1061-1073) those priests who served at St. Peter's Basilica were referred to as the seven cardinals of S. Peter's: septem cardinalibus S. Petri.[9] The four basilicas had no cardinal, since they were under the direct supervision of the Pope. The Basilica of St. John Lateran was also the seat of the bishop of Rome.[10] Traditionally, pilgrims were expected to visit all four basilicas, and San Lorenzo fuori le mura, Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, and San Sebastiano fuori le mura which constituted the Seven Pilgrim Churches of Rome. In the Great Jubilee in 2000, the seventh church was instead Santuario della Madonna del Divino Amore as appointed by Pope John Paul II.

Notable churches by construction time[edit]

This is a list of churches of Rome cited in Wikipedia articles or with related files on Wikimedia Commons.

The churches are grouped according to the time of their initial construction: the dates are those of the first record of each church. The reader, however, should not expect the current fabric of the buildings to reflect that age, since over the centuries most have undergone reconstruction. Almost all the churches will thus appear considerably more recent, and as a patchwork of periods and styles.

Some interesting churches are now closed except on special occasions, such as weddings. These include: Santa Balbina, Santi Nereo e Achilleo, San Cesareo in Palatio and Sant'Urbano.

Santa Cecilia in Travestere

4th century[edit]

Santa Costanza
Santi Quattro Coronati
Archbasilica of St. John Lateran
Santa Croce in Gerusalemme
Santi Cosma e Damiano

5th century[edit]

6th century[edit]

7th century[edit]

8th century[edit]

9th century[edit]

10th century[edit]

Santa Francesca Romana

11th century[edit]

Santa Maria del Popolo

12th century[edit]

13th century[edit]

14th century[edit]

15th century[edit]

16th century[edit]

Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri
Sant'Andrea della Valle
Santa Maria di Loreto

17th century[edit]

Sant'Andrea al Quirinale

18th century[edit]

19th century[edit]

20th century[edit]

21st century[edit]

Dio Padre Misericordioso

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Clarke, Stuardt. "The Churches of Rome: Major and Minor". Stuardt Clarkes Rome. Archived from the original on 8 February 2012. Retrieved 26 January 2012.
  2. ^ "Three of World's Major Faiths, Sharing a Belief in One God, Are Rooted in Mideast; GROUPS DISAGREE ON REVEALED LAW; Christianity and Islam Stem From the Old‐Testament Tradition of Judaism". The New York Times. 5 January 1964. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 22 December 2021.
  3. ^ Loomis, Louise Ropes (1916). The Book of the Popes (Liber Pontificalis) I, to the Pontificate of Gregory I. Records of Civilization: Sources and Studies. New York: Columbia University Press. p. 38. "...quasi dioecesis, propter baptismum et paenitentiam multorum qui convertebantur ex paganis et propter sepulturas martyrum ('like a diocese, for the sake of baptism and penance of many who were being converted from paganism and for the sake of burials of martyrs')." Mommsen, Theodor (1898). Gestorum pontificum romanorum. Monumenta Germaniae Historica. Berlin: Apud Weidmannos. p. 43.
  4. ^ "Rome of the Emperors, Rome of the Popes" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 23 December 2021.
  5. ^ Kuttner, pp. 148-149, attributes the change from 25 to 28 to the eighth century, following Klewitz, pp. 120, 151, 156-157.
  6. ^ Kuttner, p. 150.
  7. ^ The title 'cardinal', however, is not attested in authentic papal documents until the reign of Pope Stephen III (768-772): Kuttner, p. 149.
  8. ^ "E02744: The decrees (in Latin) of a synod". Figshare. 28 April 2017. Archived from the original on 23 December 2021. Retrieved 23 December 2021.
  9. ^ Kuttner, p. 152.
  10. ^ "Rome Churches: Basilicas, Temples and Holy Places". www.romesightseeing.net. Retrieved 22 December 2021.
  11. ^ Some scholars have identified the 3rd-century hall beneath the church as a meeting room for a Christian community. Others do not agree with this view, claiming there are no proofs of Christian use before the 6th century. Krautheimer, p. 115.
  12. ^ "Saint Catherine Russian Orthodox Church". Atlas Obscura.


External links[edit]