Chiesa dei Santi Nereo e Achilleo, Rome

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Santi Nereo e Achilleo is a fourth-century basilica church in Rome, Italy, located in via delle Terme di Caracalla in the rione Celio facing the main entrance to the Baths of Caracalla. The current Cardinal Priest of the Titulus Ss. Nerei et Achillei is Theodore Edgar McCarrick.HistoryA 337 epitaph inscription in the Basilica di San Paolo fuori le Mura celebrates the late Cinnamius Opas, lector of a church known as Titulus Fasciolae; the name has traditionally been explained as the place where St. Peter lost the foot bandage (fasciola) that wrapped the wounds caused by his chains, on his way to escape the Mamertine Prison. In the acts of the synod of Pope Symmachus, in 499, the Titulus Fasciolae is recorded as served by five priests. This same building is recorded as titulus Sanctorum Nerei et Achillei in 595; therefore the dedications to Saints Nereus and Achilleus, two soldiers and martyrs of the 4th century, must date to the sixth century.In 814, Pope Leo III rebuilt the old titulus. In the 13th century the relics of the two martyrs were transferred from the Catacomb of Domitilla to the Sant'Adriano, whence they were transferred to this church by Cardinal Baronius.
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Chiesa dei Santi Nereo e Achilleo Reviews
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  • Wonderful church, sin opens only for weddings or other, beautiful frescoes frame one of the small churches NEVER seen!!! I repeat, STUPENDA!!!!!!
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  • It is a lovely church located near the Caracara Baths. The whole is a touch of earth, but the pattern is drawn on the wall and makes you feel the atmosphere. It is built facing a large street, so you can see the whole church surrounded by greenery from across the road.
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  • Legend has it that St. Peter, in fleeing Rome, pursued by his persecutors, lost one of the bandages that bandaged his foot. In the place where this happened, a small church was built in the Proto-Christian era that some documents of the time mention as "Titulus Fasciolae" (Titulus was the generic name that the first Christian buildings of worship received; the other term was evidently related to the apostle's bandages). About three centuries later the church is dedicated to the Black Saints and Achilles: two Roman legionnaires martyred probably in the time of Diocletian, for having converted to Christianity and deserted from the army. In the 9th century the church had to be in complete ruin, because Pope Leo III rebuilt it completely. On this occasion the relics of the two saints, taken from the Catacombs of Domitilla (on the Ardeatina Way) would be moved to the new building. Other periods of degradation followed, until the church was deeply renovated in the early 1600s, on the initiative of Cardinal Cesare Baronio. The high prelate was one of the Church's all-time highs, particularly experienced in the study of the lives of saints and martyrs (a discipline known as "hagiography"). The old furnishings of the church were recovered, restored and expertly reused in the new structure, under the careful eye of the cardinal. The church has a rather understated facade, in a vaguely Renaissance style. The entrance is placed in a small porch, supported by two elegant columns. At the top opens a window decorated with a beautiful marble frame; other openings were closed a few centuries ago. The 17th-century frescoes that adorned the facade, the work of the Lucca Gerolamo Massei, are unfortunately very degraded. The pretty Baroque bell tower, set back from the facade, also dates back to the 16th century. The interior of the church is three aisles, supported by squat octagonal (non-original) pillars. The frescoes on the walls of the aisles represent, with vivid and sometimes rather raw images, scenes of martyrdom of the saints. The author is the Mannerist painter Nicholas Circignani (called the Orange Pom). The pulpit and the foodie (the rich newsagent supported by columns and overlaid by a dome, placed at the end of the nave) are originals of the fifteenth century, appropriately restored. Beautiful originals of the 9th century are also the mosaics of the absidal arch, while the lower ones, of much more ordinary work, are works eighteenth century. Also worth mentioning is a beautiful 12th-century bishop's throne, dating back to the 12th century. The relics of the saints Nereus and Achilles are kept under the main altar along with those of Domitilla: the granddaughter of the Emperor Domitian, martyred for his adherence to Christianity, to which were named the catacombs of the same name. Costei, according to a very imaginative and anachronistic tradition, would be converted to Christianity precisely by the ardent preaching of the two holding saints. This small but interesting church (not to be confused with the basilica of the same name found inside the Catacombs of Domitilla) is located in front of the large Baths of Caracalla, near the Piazzale Numa Pompilio. The church depends on the Parish of St. Mary in Vallicella (more known as "New Church") which normally uses it for the celebration of weddings.
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