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San Teodoro

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San Teodoro
Campitelli - san Teodoro 1566
English name: St Theodore
Dedication: Theodore of Euchaita
Denomination: Orthodox, formerly Roman Catholic
Titular church c. 678–c. 1590 and 19592000
Built: Possibly 6th century, rebuilt 15th century and 17031705
Architect(s): Carlo Fontana
Contact data
Address: 7 Via de San Teodoro

San Teodoro is a circular church dedicated to the 4th century Greek soldier martyr St Theodore Tyrofrom Euchaita in Asia Minor, who was martyred at Amasea. It is at Via San Teodoro 7 on the western slope of the Palatine, in the rione Campitelli.

In November 2000, Pope John Paul II, announced that he was granting use of the church to the Ecumenical Patriarcate of Constantinople. This means that it will be used by the Greek Orthodox community in Rome. On 1 July 2004, the church was officially inaugurated for its new use by His Holiness Bartholomew I, Ecumenial Patriarch of Constantinople. However, it remains consecrated as a Catholic church and the Diocese lists it as such.

HistoryEdit

The church may have been built as early as the 6th century in the ruins of the granaries of Agrippa. The round shape is unusual, and it is possible that the church was built in the ruins of a temple. 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.

It was rebuilt under Pope Nicholas V (14471455) and renovated on the orders of Francesco Cardinal Barberini in 1643.

Pope Clement XI hired Carlo Fontana to rebuild the church 17031705.

After the last renovation, the church was given to the Confraternita dei Sacconi Rossi, the Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

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. The title was suppressed by Pope Sixtus V (15851590, and reestablished on 2 December 1959 by Pope John XXIII. The first titular deacon known by name is Roberto, (c. 1073, died before 1099). The first titular deacon after the restoration of the title was William Theodore Heard (19591970, pro hac vice presbyterial titular 1970–1973). The last titular of the church was Vincenzo Fagiolo, who died 22 September 2000.

ExteriorEdit

In front of the church is an atrium. An ancient pagan altar can be seen in the middle; it used to support the altar of the church. At the back is an ossuary, where you can see stacked skulls and bones through a grille.
2011 Teodoro
View from the Palatine.

InteriorEdit

The apse mosaic, which is from the 6th century, is very nice, but it is difficult to see in the dark church. Try to get the caretaker to turn the lights on. It shows Christ seated on an orb representing the heavens, flanked by Peter and Paul and by two martyrs, St Theodore and St Cleonicus. St Theodore is a later addition, from Nicholas V's restoration. Christ's clothes are black and have gold lati clavi, stripes indicating high rank on Roman garments.

The Etruscan Wolf which is now on the Capitol (with Romulus and Remus added at a later date) was kept here until the 16th century.

In one of the side chapels, there is a Russian icon of the Blessed Virgin and the Holy Child.

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