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Rome: Basilica of Santa Pudenziana

About the Basilica of Santa Pudenziana:

This is one of the oldest churches in Rome, and is often overlooked by visitors.

The Basilica is built over what was originally 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.

Certainly its most distinctive feature is the mosaic in the apse.  Due to its location, it has been very well preserved.

Mosaic in Santa Pudenziana in Rome
By Photo by Sixtus, This version digitally enhanced TTaylor, for better reproduction in small format and inclusion on Wikipedia page Poor Man’s Bible. – , source Wikipedia Commons., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=876986

The mosaic was created during the pontificate of Pope Innocent I, immediately after the “sack of Rome” by the barbarians of Alaric, when so much of the known world was stunned by the event. 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 in thanksgiving that the church had been saved from destruction.

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. T

It is the National Church for Filipinos.

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)

email: [email protected]

Click here for the official website of the Church of Santa Pudenziana in Rome.

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