Saints, prophets and gods

Saints, prophets and gods

Bernini’s Habakkuk and the Angel, meaning the story of a mysterious journey into the lion’s den

Saints, prophets and gods

Hercules – a fearless but rather dull protector of Rome

Saints, prophets and gods

Raphael’s Isaiah – how one great artist imitated another

Saints, prophets and gods

Saint Agnes (Sant’Agnese) – a favorite of the Romans – an unbroken virgin

Saints, prophets and gods

Saint Balbina (Santa Balbina) – patroness of the stuttering and… not only

Saints, prophets and gods

Saint Bibiana (Santa Bibiana) – uncompromising Roman girl, whipped to death

Saints, prophets and gods

Saint Cecilia (Santa Cecilia) – twice miraculously found and equally miraculously kept in everlasting youth

Saints, prophets and gods

Saint Petronilla (Santa Petronilla) – a virgin and a betrothed of Christ

Saints, prophets and gods

Saint Prisca (Santa Prisca) – three saints for the price of one

Saints, prophets and gods

Saint Sabina (Santa Sabina) – an enigmatic saint from the Aventine

Saints, prophets and gods

Saint Andrew (Sant’Andrea) – holy apostle with a centuries-old visit in the Eternal City

Saints, prophets and gods

Saint Jerome (between 331 and 347 – 420) – „Romans hide your daughters because Jerome is coming”

Saints, prophets and gods

Saint Hippolytus (Sant’Ippolito) – neophyte and a patron of prison guards

Saints, prophets and gods

Saint Sabbas the Sanctified (San Saba) – an uncompromising Palestinian proponent of Rome

Saints, prophets and gods

Saint Stephen (Santo Stefano) – a companion in the cult of St. Lawrence

Saints, prophets and gods

Saint Lawrence (San Lorenzo) – a favorite of the Romans; intercessor of those suffering in the fires of hell

Cardinal Paolo Camillo Sfondrati (1560–1618) – chasing sainthood

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Cardinal Paolo Camillo Sfondrati (1560–1618) – chasing sainthood

Cardinal Sfondrati was one of the most influential figures of the Roman Church at the turn of the XVI and XVII centuries. He combined all the good and bad characteristics of this era of increased piousness and severity. Being the papal nepot, for a short while he had the opportunity to achieve everything a cardinal could dream of at that time as far as earthly luxuries, nevertheless he had to be satisfied with a rather lowly function of a presbyter of a church in the poor district of the Trastevere. And it was then that his ambitions exceeded the earthly sphere.

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Saint Cecilia Distributing Alms to the Poor– a story of the recalcitrant Roman populace

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Saint Cecilia Distributing Alms to the Poor– a story of the recalcitrant Roman populace

Pierre Polet desired that his posthumous chapel be decorated with frescoes by Domenichino. There would be nothing extraordinary about this undertaking, had it not been for one of the painted scenes, which surprised and disgusted many of the onlookers. What was it that shook the public of seventeenth-century Rome to such an extent that this painting was on the lips of both the educated elites, as well as simple people? In order to answer this question, we must carefully look at the decorations of the Polet Chapel located in the right nave of the Church of San Luigi dei Francesi.

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Pope Gregory XIV (1535–1591) – pious, modest, and lacking in will

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Pope Gregory XIV (1535–1591) – pious, modest, and lacking in will

At the age of only sixteen, he was ordained as a priest, and at the age of twenty-five, he became a bishop of Cremona, to then become a cardinal at the age of forty-eight. And he owed it all to his aristocratic origins. At the moment of being called to St. Peter's throne, in 1590, cardinal Sfondrati was fifty-six years old. Ten months later he died, to the chagrin of his family, but also many other people who were able to appreciate the virtues of this modest, pious, but also bereft of political ambitions, successor of St. Peter.

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