San Girolamo della Carità

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(To see photos of the chapels on the left side click here )
(To see photos of the chapels on the right side click here )

St Jerome of Charity is a 17th century confraternity church, and is near the Palazzo Farnese in the rione Regola (VII). The dedication is to St Jerome, Doctor of the Church. This place of worship is important from a historical point of view for having been connected with the figures of two saints: San Girolamo and, in modern times, San Filippo Neri. Today it also serves as the Chapel of the Library of the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross.

For reference, a plan of the church is available here.


In 382 Pope Damasus I called Jerome to Rome to entrust him with the translation, interpretation and commentary of the Bible and to have his help to fight and eliminate Arianism. By tradition the church was built on the site of the house of the matron Paola who, according to tradition, would have hosted St. Jerome when he was secretary to Pope Damasus I. However, the first documentary evidence for it dates to 1419. In that year, Pope Martin V authorized the Franciscan Observants to build a hospice with a chapel. It is not known what sort of chapel they put up, but in 1508 they replaced it with a new church.

In 1536 the friars moved to San Bartolomeo all'Isola, and the complex was taken over by the aristocratic Confraternita della Carità. This had founded in 1518 for charitable works by the future Pope Clement VII, when he was still Cardinal Giulio de' Medici. After the friars left, the confraternity allowed a sodality of secular priests to inhabit the convent, which became known as Preti di San Girolamo. One of these was a young, newly ordained Florentine priest who arrived in 1551 and was to become famous as St Philip Neri.

The convent was gutted by fire in 1631, which damaged the church's apse and transept. Instead of a simple restoration, it was decided to rebuild the church as a single nave with side chapels patronized by noble families. Some works survived the fire and were incorporated into the new construction. The confraternity's architect was Domenico Castelli, who began to rebuild the church in 1654 and had finished the main structure by the time he died in 1657. The nave ceiling was kept from the old church. Carlo Rainaldi was responsible for the high altar and for supervising the completion of the façade in 1660.

In 1985, the complex became an annex of the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, run by Opus Dei

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Location: 41° 53' 43"N 12° 28' 13"E

Detailed information and description

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