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Sant'Ignazio di Loyola a Campo Marzio

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Sant'Ignazio di Loyola a Campo Marzio

English name: St Ignatius of Loyola at Campus Martius
Dedication: Ignatius of Loyola
Denomination: Roman Catholic
Type: Titular church
Clergy: Jesuits
Titular church Roberto Tucci, S.J
Built: 1626 - 1650
Architect(s): Orazio Grassi, Allessandro Algardi
Artists: Andrea Pozzo, Pierre Legros, Allessandro Algardi
Contact data
Address: 8/a Via del Caravita / Piazza di Sant'Ignazio

Sant' Ignazio di Loyola a Campo Marzio is a church dedicated to St Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus. Pictures of the church at Wikimedia Commons.[1][2][3][4][5][6]


After the canonization of St Ignatius of Loyola, in 1622, it was deemed fitting to raise a church to the new saint. Sant'Ignazio was built, between 1626 and 1650, by Orazio Grassi S.J. It was funded by Cardinal Ludovico Ludovisi, a nephew of Gregory XV, the pope who had canonized St Ignatius. The Jesuits still serve the church.

The current titular deacon of the church is H.E. Cardinal Roberto Tucci, S.J., who was appointed on February 21, 2001.


The piazza in front of the church, framed by two palaces from 1727-1728, is the work of Filippo Raguzzini. It is a good example of 18th century urban planning.


The façade was designed by Allessandro Algardi. It has two storeys with Corinthian columns, pilaster strips, cornices, frontispiece, side volutes and a large window, crowned by a triangular pediment. The chiaroscuro effect is strong and successful.


The interior is laid out as in the shape of a Latin cross. It has a wide nave and apse, and is decorated in Baroque style.

The fresco paintings of the nave vault is the greatest work of Fr. Andrea Pozzo S.J., painted in 1685. It depicts the Apotheosis of St Ignatius. The effect of perspective creates the illusion of looking up at the sky through open colonnades. Pozzo also painted the image of a dome over the crossing, on a canvas that is 17 meters in diameter. The original intention was to build a dome, but this was too expensive. To get the best possible effect of the illusion, stand at the spot marked by a marble plaque in the floor of the nave.

Scenes from the life of St Ignatius in the apse are also by Pozzo. They depict the defense of Pamplona, where St Ignatius was wounded in the leg, an event that led to his conversion; and the divine assurance that the saint received in the chapel at La Storta. There are also scenes from the life of St Francis Xavier and St Francis Borgia.

St Robert Bellarmine is buried in the third chapel on the right side.

In the chapel in the right transept, St Aloysius Gonzaga, a young Jesuit student of the Roman College, who died at the age of twenty-three, is interred in an urn of lapis lazuli. The altar is designed by Fr. Pozzo. The relief depicting the Glory of St Aloysius Gonzaga is by Pierre Legros, 1698.

Beyond the right transept, at the back of the church, is the monumental tomb of Pope Gregory XV and his nephew, Cardinal Ludovico Ludovisi. 

In the chapel in the left transept is the tomb of St John Berchmans, another Jesuit student who died in his early twenties while studying at the Roman College. 

The frieze of putti and the statues of Glory and Religion are by Allessandro Algardi, 1650.

Special notesEdit

The rooms of St Aloysius can be visited. The staircase leading to them is found close by his altar. There are also other rooms of interest there. At times, the door to the staircase is open, but the rooms are shut. If you find yourself on the roof in front of a closed door, taking in the view of Rome might appease you.

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