Station Church, 2021: XXX

— Feria Quinta post Dominicam Quartam in Quadragesima — Statio ad Ss Silvestrum et Martinum —


The basilica was founded by Pope Sylvester I on a site donated by one Equitius (hence the name of Titulus Equitii) in the 4th century. At the beginning it was an oratory devoted to all the martyrs. It is known that a meeting in preparation for the Council of Nicaea was held here in 324. The current church of San Martino ai Monti dates from the Carolingian era, but remains of a 3rd-century pillared hall have been located below and adjacent to it — this is believed to have been a building of commercial purposes.

Relics of Pope Saint Sylvester

In 500, the church was rebuilt and dedicated to Saints Martin of Tours and Pope Sylvester I by Pope Symmachus. On this occasion, the structure of the church was elevated and the first oratory was thus underground. It was reconstructed by Pope Hadrian I in 772 and by Pope Sergius II in 845.

Relics of Pope Saint Martin

The structure of the present basilica follows the ancient church, and many pieces had been re-used. Remains of Pope St Martin I were said to be transferred there following his death in the 7th century in the Crimea region.

The basilica is served by the Carmelite friars. It was granted to them in 1299 by Pope Boniface VIII; their ownership was confirmed in 1559. This basilica is the resting place of the Blessed Angelo Paoli, O.Carm., (1642–1720) who was revered throughout Rome for his service of the poor; he was beatified on 25 April 2010.

The interior has a nave and two aisles, divided by ancient columns. A votive lamp, made in silver sheet and housed in the sacristy, was believed to be St. Sylvester’s tiara. Under the major altar are preserved the relics of Saints Artemius, Paulina and Sisinnius, brought here from the Catacomb of Priscilla. A mosaic portraying Madonna with St Sylvester is from the 6th century.

Listing the names of the martyrs whose remains were brought here from the catacombs of Priscilla

In the 17th century, a series of of frescoes, architectural additions, and altarpieces were commissioned.

One thought on “Station Church, 2021: XXX

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s