Saint Lawrence Seminar

Duration: 3 hrs

This 3 hour itinerary looks at the legacy of Saint Lawrence of Rome (c. 225–58), deacon and martyr of the early Christian Church, put to death under Emperor Valerian.

Devotion to Saint Lawrence was already widespread by the 4th century though Lawrence is especially honored in Rome due to his prominence in the early Church. On this itinerary we visit the most important sites in Rome dedicated to Saint Lawrence which identify key historical events surrounding his life and death (see below).

Begining at the Papal Basilica of Saint Lawrence outside the Walls (San Lorenzo fuori le Mura), one of the seven pilgrim churches of Rome, we see Lawrence’s tomb in the confessio under the high altar where his remains are interred with those of the Church’s proto-martyr St. Stephen. We will learn about Lawrence’s life and the difficulties he faced in Rome, while discovering the sacred artifacts, artworks and complex architecture at this site.  We will also see exquisite cosmatesque pavements, ancient Roman sarcophagi, a Romanesque courtyard with stone sculptures and fragments from the local catacomb of Cyriaca in agro Verano, antique ionic capitals, stunning Byzantine mosaics from the 6th century AD and a fascinating shrine housing the tomb of Blessed Pope Pius IX.

After the papal basilica, we head off to see other major places of Lawrentine interest in Rome: Basilica of San Lorenzo in Miranda (where Lawrence was sentenced to death); Church of San Lorenzo in fonte (where Lawrence was imprisoned); Basilica of San Lorenzo in Panisperna (the place of his execution); the Basilica of San Lorenzo in Damaso (the home of Pope Damasus I who housed Lawrence); the Basilica of San Lorenzo in Lucina (the home of a Roman matron where Lawrence lived).

Contact SACRA SORGENTE to participate in this itinerary email: sacra.sorgente@mail.com

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