Sant'Egidio in Trastevere
is a 17th century convent and titular church in Trastevere. The dedication is to St Giles. He was from Greece, and migrated to what is now Languedoc in France at the end of the 7th century. The legends written about him helped to make him one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers
in the Middle Ages, and many churches were dedicated to him.
The present church is the descendant of two old ones, and the name has been transferred between them. The church that was originally dedicated to St Giles was called San Lorenzo in Ianicolo or de Curtibus, the first probable record dates from 1123.
In 1610 the church was in bad repair, and was granted to a butcher called Agostino Lancelotti who undertook to restore it. In the process it was re-dedicated to St Giles, and given to a new community of Discalced Carmelite nuns which had settled in a house next door. This had been founded by Margherita Colonna, Princess of Venafro, in 1601.
The present church was built as a result in 1630 through the generosity of Prince Filippo Colonna. The nuns decided to demolish the old church of Sant'Egidio and rebuild San Biagio, dedicating it to Our Lady of Carmel and St Giles. It has been universally known since then as Sant'Egidio, however.
Unfortunately, the sisters were dispossessed in 1873 in the blanket seizure of Roman convents by the new Italian government. The church was given to the Comunitá di Sant'Egidio
, a lay organization founded in Rome in 1968 to aid poor people directly worldwide, and to work for peace and understanding through ecumenical and inter-religious dialogue.
The church was restored in 1998 by the Community. The church is now served by diocesan clergy.
The title was established in 2019 with Cardinal Matteo Maria Zuppi
, Metropolitan Archbishop of Bologna, the first Cardinal-Protector.