— Dominica Tertia in Quadragesima — Statio ad S. Laurentium extra muros —
The Basilica Papale di San Lorenzo fuori le mura (Papal Basilica of Saint Lawrence outside the Walls) is a Roman Catholic papal minor basilica and parish church, located in Rome, Italy. The Basilica is one of the Seven Pilgrim Churches of Rome and one of the five former “patriarchal basilicas,” each of which was assigned to the care of a Latin Church patriarchate. The Basilica was assigned to the Patriarchate of Jerusalem. The Basilica is the shrine of the tomb of its namesake, Saint Lawrence, one of the first seven deacons of Rome who was martyred in 258. Many other saints and Bl. Pope Pius IX are also buried at the Basilica, which is the center of a large and ancient burial complex.
On the triumphal arch are Byzantine mosaics from the 6th century, depicting Christ with saints. The confessio below the high altar is entered from the nave. Here, St. Lawrence and St. Stephen are enshrined. The latter was transferred from Constantinople by Pope Pelagius II during his restoration of the Basilica. Behind the high altar is a Papal altar with an inscription of the names of the makers, namely the Cosmati family, and dating it to 1148.
The Basilica was home to the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem from 1374 to 1847. In 1943 the Basilica was bombed by American planes during the Second World War. Restoration continued until 1948, allowing some accretions from the 19th century to be removed. However, the frescoes on the facade were destroyed.