Joseph Mullooly

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Joseph Mullooly, (19 March 1812 – 25 June 1880) [1] was an Irish Dominican Roman Catholic priest and archaeologist from Lehery, Lanesborough, County Longford, Ireland. He is noted for excavating the temple of Mithras, (a Zoroastrian and Vedic deity widely venerated in the Roman Empire at dating from the reign of Nero) beneath the Basilica of San Clemente in Rome.

In 1849, Mullooly became lector in Sacred Theology at the College of Saint Thomas in Rome, the future Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Angelicum.[2]

Mullooly wrote Saint Clement, Pope and Martyr, and His Basilica in Rome about the excavation project at San Clemente. "Mullooly’s courage and desire to preserve ancient artifacts can be noted in his defense of the Basilica of San Clemente from destruction. When Garibaldi’s revolutionary forces took over Rome in 1848, Mullooly defended his church even after the Pope fled the Vatican".[3]

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