The Santi Marcellino and Pietro Church in Rome is a small church on the corner of the Via Labicana and the Via Merulana, at a couple of minutes’ walking distance from the Colosseum. The first version of the church, which now is several metres below the present street level, was constructed in the 4th century.
Santi Marcellino and Pietro Church Rome
Address and opening hours
The address of the Chiesa dei Santi Marcellino e Pietro is Via Labicana, 1 – 00184 Rome (District: Monti). Tel. +39 0697840635. Tram: 3, 8; Bus: 53, 75, 85, 87, 186, 571, 810, C3, N10. Opening hours: Every day from 07.00 till 12.00 and from 16.00 till 19.30. Admission: Free.
Although the church was originally built by Pope Siricio in the 4th century, the present Santi Marcellino and Pietro Church is the result of a reconstruction in 1751. The architect of the reconstruction, which had been commissioned by Pope Benedict XIV, was Girolamo Theodoli.
Earlier reconstructions had taken place in the 8th and in the 13th century. This last one had been ordered by Pope Alexander IV, in order to be able to place the relics of the two saints there. An urn containing the ashes of a third saint, Marzia, is kept underneath the main altar.
A hospital for pilgrims that in the 15th century had been built against the church was later torn down again.
When the Esquilino district was reorganized in 1879, the church came to be located below street level.
The church has a rather unusual cube-like shape, while the dome clearly shows the influence of Borromini. Its facade is characterized by a sober portal of travertine marble with a tympan. The coat of arms of Pope Benedict XIV and an inscription of the facade refer to the reconstruction of 1751.
The floor plan is that of a Greek cross. The church has four chapels. The walls are decorated with pillars with Ionic capitols. An epigraph on a pillar of the right wall refers to the reconstruction of 1256 and the subsequent placement of the saints’ relics. These had till then been preserved in the Santi Pietro and Marcellino catacombs along the Via Casilina (at the time called Via Labicana).
Marcellinus was a priest and Peter was an exorcist. They had suffered a martyr’s death at the hands of Emperor Diocletian.
Filippo Evangelisti painted the “Mass of Saint Gregory”.
The 18th century painting above the main altar is the work of Gaetano Lapis. Its subject is the “Martyrdon of the Saints Marcellino and Pietro”.
In the news
In 2011 hebben vandalen die tot het extreem linkse Black Bloc behoorden een crucifix en een standbeeldje van de Madonna van Lourdes in de pastorie vernield om tegen de economische wereldpolitiek te protesteren.
In 2011 members of the extreme right wing organization Black Bloc destroyed a crucifix and a small statue of the Madonna of Lourdes. Their aim was a protest against the global economical politics. Global economical politics did not pay much attention.