|San Lorenzo in Panisperna|
|English name:||St Lawrence's at Panisperna|
|Dedication:||St Lawrence the Deacon|
|Titular church||Cardinal Kitbunchu|
|Artists:||Giuseppe Ranucci Antonio Nessi Giovanni Francesco Romano|
|Address:|| Via Panisperna 90 |
|Phone:||06 48 36 67|
The church stands on the site of St Lawrence's martyrdom. The appellation refers to the name of the street, which in turn most likely refers to the tradition of the Poor Clares in the adjacent convent of distributing bread and ham (pane e perna) on August 10th, the feast day of St Lawrence. The is done in remembrance of St Lawrence distributing funds from the church to the poor.
Tradition claims that the first church here was built during the reign of Emperor Constantine. For some time, it was known as San Lorenzo in Formosa, as Pope Formosus (891-896) built a church here. The first written evidence of the church is from 1300, when Pope Boniface VIII rebuilt the church. An abbey was annexed to it. This was given to the Benedictines in 1451.
The church is served by Franciscans.
ExteriorEditIn front of the church, there is a steep flight of steps, built in 1893, leading to a courtyard lined by trees. There is a modern bronze statue of St Bridget of Sweden here (see more below). There is also a medieval house with an exterior staircase; this is one of the few such houses that has been preserved in Rome.
The outer portico, from the 17th century, was restored by Pope Leo XIII (1878-1903), who in 1843 was received his episcopal ordination here. A year after the restoration it was decorated with images of Sts Lawrence and Francis of Assisi.The façade by Carlo Rainaldi is from the 16th century.
The church has a single nave with three chapels on each side.
Under the porch is a chapel where an oven believed to be the one on which St Lawrence was roasted alive is kept. Ask the sacristan if you wish to see it.
The crucifix by the high altar is from the 14th century.
In the last chapel on the right side is a painting of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception by Giuseppe Ranucci.
The first chapel on the left has a painting of The Stigmata of St Francis by Niccolò Lapiccola.
The Chapel of St Bridget is the second on the left. St Bridget of Vadstena was buried here before her body was moved to Sweden. She had used to beg for alms for the poor outside this church, and prayed before the crucifix by the high altar. Now, a martyr named Victoria lies underneath the alter in the chapel. The painting of St Bridget Praying before the Crucifix is by Giuseppe Montesanti, and was painted in 1757.
The last chapel on the left has an 18th century crucifix of the Roman school.
If you ask to be admitted to the presbytery, you can see a dramatic painting of St Lawrence's martyrdom.
The feast of St Lawrence is celebrated with great solemnity on 10 August.