|Santi Domenico e Sisto|
|English name:||Saints Dominic and Sixtus|
|Latin name:||Sanctorum Dominici et Sixti|
|Dedication:||St Dominic Guzman and St Sixtus II|
|Titular church||Cardinal Cottier|
|Architect(s):||della Porta, Maderano|
|Address:|| 1 Largo Angelicum
|Phone:||06 67 021|
The first church at the site was called Santa Maria a Magnanapoli, and was built in the 1st millennium. It belonged to the Dominican nuns at the Convent of San Sisto at the Baths of Caracalla.
The present church was built at the order of Pope St Pius V, who was a Dominican. Construction started in 1569, and the complex - the convent was rebuilt from 1575 - was not completed before 1663. The original plan may have been the work of Giacomo della Porta, but during the long construction period several architects worked on the building. Nicola Torriani is known to have designed the lower part of the church, and he may also have designed the upper part. Another likely candidate for the design of the upper part is Vincenzo della Greca. Carlo Maderno also worked on the church.
The church is served by Dominicans. Adjacent to it is the convent, of which the first floor is the "Pontifical University of St Thomas Aquinas". It functions as the church of that university.
The church was made a cardinalitial title on 21 October 2003. The first titular is Cardinal Georges Marie Martin Cottier O.P., created cardinal on the same day.
The Baroque travertine façade was constructed in 1646 by Felice and Vincenzo della Greca. There are two niches on the lower level with statues by Carlo Maderno, of St Thomas Aquinas and St Peter Martyr (1205-1252, Dominican priest and martyr, patron of the Dominicans), and two on the upper by Marcantonio Canini, of St Dominic and St Sixtus.
The double staircase from 1654 is the work of Orazio Torriani.
Over Bernini's high altar, a 15th century terracotta plaque with a low relief of the Madonna with Child is enshrined.
The first chapel on the right was designed by Bernini. The sculpture group Noli me tangere (Mary Magdalene meeting the risen Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane) was designed by Bernini, but the work was executed by one of his pupils, E. Antonio Raggi, in 1649. Bernini also designed the altar in the chapel.
The altarpiece in the third chapel on the right depicts St Dominic's Vision, painted by Pier Francesco Mola.
The church is closed July-September since there are no students at the University of St Thomas Aquinas during that time. Frequently it is possible to find the church open on Saturdays before or after weddings. The feast of St Thomas Aquinas (patron of the university) is celebrated with great solemnity with the students & faculty on 28 January. Apart from that date, you should call to make an appointment or ask at the front desk (portineria) at the top of the stairs to the right of the church. The cloister is also worth seeing.
It is also possible to see the choir chapel where the Dominican Friars pray the Divine Office located on the other side of the wall behind the high altar in the church. Access is through the cloister - ask at the portineria. 75 Dominican Friars live in the convent (during the academic year) located above the university which educates over 1,200 students coming from over 70 foreign countries.
The Angelicum boasts a number of distinguished alumni. Perhaps the most notable: Archbishop Fulton Sheen, Pope John Paul II
Website for University: http://www.angelicum.org/index.php?lingua=en