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Basilica of St. Praxedes

The Basilica of Saint Praxedes, commonly known in Italian as Santa Prassede, is an ancient titular church and minor basilica in Rome, Italy, located near the papal basilica of Saint Mary Major.

The church in its current form was commissioned by Pope Hadrian I around the year 780, and built on top of the remains of a 5th-century structure and was designed to house the bones of Saint Praxedes and Saint Pudentiana, the daughters of Saint Pudens, traditionally St. Peter’s first Christian convert in Rome. The two female saints were murdered for providing Christian burial for early martyrs in defiance of Roman law. The basilica was enlarged and decorated by Pope Paschal I in c. 822.

Pope Paschal, who reigned 817-824, was at the forefront of the Carolingian Renaissance started and advocated by the emperor Charlemagne. They desired to get back to the foundations of Christianity theologically and artistically. Paschal, thus, began two, linked, ambitious programs: the recovery of martyrs’ bones from the catacombs of Rome and an almost unprecedented church building campaign. Paschal dug up numerous skeletons and transplanted them to this church. The Titulus S. Praxedis was established by Pope Evaristus, around 112.

source: wikipedia.org

Further information:
Rome Tourism website

 

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