About the Basilica of Santa Pudenziana:
This is regarded as one the oldest places of Christian worship in Rome. It was erected over a 2nd-century house, probably during the pontificate of Pius I in AD 140–55, re-using part of a Roman bath facility, still visible in the structure of the apse. Acccording to tradition the Apostle Peter stayed for seven years at this house after having converted the owner Pudente. St. Paul was probably also hosted here since he mentions Pudente at the end of his second letter to Timothy. It became a house church: house churches (domus ecclesiae) were the first places of meeting and worship of the early Christians since they naturally had to be held in secret. Today you can see the remains of that early house church located almost 30 feet below ground level. The Church is dedicated to Saint Pudentiana, martyred in the 2nd century when she refused to worship the Roman Emperors Marcus Aurelius and Antoninus Pius as deities.
Certainly its most distinctive feature is the mosaic in the apse. Due to its location, it has been very well preserved. The mosaic was created during the pontificate of Pope Innocent I (r. 401-417), immediately after the “sack of Rome” by the barbarians of Alaric (August 410 AD). In the mosaic you see Jesus holding a book that says: Dominus Servator Ecclesiae Pudentianae . “The Lord who saved the church of Pudente (Pudenziana)”. No doubt this was in thanksgiving that the church had been saved from destruction during the invasion..
The mosaic is different from the later Byzantine style mosaics: it is much more realistic and has greater perspective than the later Byzantine style and is often a surprise to visitors.Jesus sits on a jewel encrusted throne wearing a gold toga. The surrounding Apostles also wear togas in the Roman fashion of senators at the time.
The church of Santa Pudenziana is also the site of a Eucharistic Miracle that took place in 1610 AD.
On the altar steps of the Caetani Chapel, constructed by the Caetani family, to this day there is the imprint and the stain of Blood left by a Host which fell from the hands of a priest while celebrating the Mass. The priest had begun to have doubts about the Real Presence of Jesus in consecrated Host, and immediately after the consecration he accidentally let the Host fall to the ground, where it left a visible imprint. It is still possible today to see the miraculous imprint left by the Host which fell on the steps of the altar in the Caetani Chapel of Santa Pudenziana Church in Rome.
The Basilica of Santa Pudenziana in Rome is the National Church for Filipinos.
There is also a school program for middle/high school students that is associated with the church. The program, in collaboration with the Seibo College Foundation, mainly concerns Filipino families and children, but the certificate granted by the School at the end of program is intermationally valid.
Finding the Basilica of Santa Pudenziana in Rome:
You will find the Basilica just a few blocks from the Basilica of Saint Mary Major, so it is easy to combine the two when visiting Rome.
Address: Via Urbana 160, Rome, Italy
Tel: +39 064814622
Filipino Office: +39 064872046 (Tue-Sa 15.00- 18.00)
Click here for the official website of the Church of Santa Pudenziana in Rome.