Chiesa di San Teodoro al Palatino

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San Teodoro is a circular church dedicated to the 4th century Greek soldier martyr St Theodore Tyro from Euchaita in Asia Minor, who was martyred at Amasea.


The church may have been built as early as the 6th century in the ruins of the granaries of Agrippa (Horrea Agrippiana), Imperial Roman grain warehouse. The round shape is unusual, and it is possible that the church was built in the ruins of a temple of Romulus. The earliest definitive evidence of the church's existence is from the 9th century, but a Christian mosaic from the 6th century was found under excavations, supporting the earlier date.

As the dedication to one of the most venerated saints of the East attests, it was built in a period of strong Byzantine influence in Rome. The church may have been built as a diakonia, to provide food for the needy.

It was rebuilt under Pope Nicholas V (1447-1455) and renovated on the orders of Francesco Cardinal Barberini in 1643.

Pope Clement XI hired Carlo Fontana to renovate and redecorate the church (1702-1705), but insisted that he respect the historical building and works of art and cratsmanship.

After the renovation of 1729, the church was given to the Confraternita dei Sacconi Rossi, the Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In 1738 Pope Clement XII restored the church to its previous ownership, and added a new chapel and sacristy. In 1769 a campanile was added, and the altars were replaced in 1779. In 1825 the sanctuary was rebuilt, the interior and courtyard were renovated and a wall was built between the courtyard and neighboring gardens. Extensive internal renorvations was completed in 1852.

According to tradition, the church was one of the seven original deaconries in Rome. It was assigned to a deacon by Pope St Agatho c. 678.

Pope John Paul II announced in November 2000 that he was allowing the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople and the Greek Orthodox community in Rome to use the church, with the official inauguration occurring on 1 July 2004, presided over by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople.

Sources: Roman Churches Wiki

Location: 41° 53' 26" N, 12° 29' 5" E

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