Religion in Rome is not just the Vatican and the beautiful churches scattered all over downtown. It’s a much more complicated story. The city always attracted charismatic figures, religious scholars and men and women imbued by noble values. Many of these virtuous people became saints and gave a great spiritual but also factual contribution to the Catholic Church and the city of Rome.
And maybe this is the reason why this interesting initiative has been organized by the City Hall and not by the Vatican or other religious bodies. You can see the houses, the artworks and the relics of eight saints for free through June 23 on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in Rome. Most of them are from the 16th to the 18th centuries.
The most famous is of course Ignatius of Loyola the founder of the Jesuit order. His house is next to the Jesus Church and can be seen from 9:30am to 12:30pm and from 4:30pm to 6:30pm like all the other houses included in this event.
Many of you will instead (have) notice(d) the rococo Maddalena church, in a little square close to the Pantheon. Well inside this church you can see the house of Camillo de Lellis who founded an order, the Camilliani, totally devoted to the care of sick people. He chose this place because it was exactly in the middle of Rome’s two biggest hospitals of the time (18th century).
A minuscule room, nearly as big as a prison cell, is where St Joseph Calasanzio, founder of the Scolopi order, spent the last 36 years of his life. It’s in piazza San Pantaleo, right behind Navona square.
These are just some of the stories behind the eight worship places open for the occasion. This itinerary will unveil the actions and the faith of men and women who made Rome a more human place and who changed the life of many ordinary Roman citizens. It’s a way to see Rome from a new angle and live it through the lenses of religious men of the 16th – 18th centuries.