Sant'Ignazio in Rome

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The Church of Saint Ignatius of Loyola at Campus Martius (, ) is Roman Catholic titular church dedicated to Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuit order, located in Rome, Italy. Built in Baroque style between 1626 and 1650, the church functioned originally as Rectory church to the adjacent Collegio Romano, that moved in 1584 to a new larger building and became the Pontifical Gregorian University. The Cardinal Priest of the Titulus S. Ignatii de Loyola in Campo Martio is Roberto Tucci.


The Collegio Romano opened very humbly in 1551, with an inscription over the door summing up its simple purpose: "School of Grammar, Humanity, and Christian Doctrine. Free". Plagued by financial problems in the early years, She had intended to donate it previously to the Order of Poor Ladies to found a minor nunnery. This order had already started to build what had been intended to become the church of Santa Maria della Nunziata, erected on the spot where the Temple of Isis had stood in Imperial Rome. It celebrates the work of Saint Ignatius and the Society of Jesus in the world presenting the saint welcomed into paradise by Christ and the Virgin Mary and surrounded by allegorical representations of all four continents. Pozzo worked to open up, even dissolve the actual surface of the nave's barrel vault illusionistically, arranging a perspectival projection to make an observer see a huge and lofty cupola (of a sort), open to the bright sky, and filled with upward floating figures. A marble disk set into the middle of the nave floor marks the ideal spot from which observers might fully experience the illusion. A second marker in the nave floor further east provides the ideal vantage point for the trompe l'oeil painting on canvas that covers the crossing and depicts a tall, ribbed and coffered dome. The cupola one expects to see here was never built and in its place,in 1685, Andrea Pozzo supplied a painting on canvas with a perspectival projection of a cupola. Destroyed in 1891, the painting was subsequently replaced. Pozzo also frescoed the pendentives in the crossing decorating each with an Old Testament figure—Judith, David, Samson, and Jaele.

Again by Pozzo, the frescoes in the eastern apse present the life and apotheosis of St. Ignatius.<ref name="OW"/> The Siege of Pamplona in the tall panel on the left commemorates the wounding of St. Ignatius, which led to the convalescence that transformed his life. The panel over the high altar with The Vision of St. Ignatius at the Chapel of La Storta commemorates the place where the saint received his divine calling. St. Ignatius sends St. Francis Xavier to India recalls the aggressive Jesuit missionary work in foreign countries, and finally, St. Ignatius Receiving Francesco Borgia recalls the recruitment of the Spanish noble who would become General of the Company of Jesuits. Pozzo is also responsible for the fresco in the conch depicting St. Ignatius Healing the Pestilent.

Side chapels

The first chapel on the right has an 18th-century altarpiece showing Saints Stanislaus Kostka and John Francis Regis Worshiping the Virgin and Child. The second chapel has an altarpiece depicting St. Joseph and the Virgin and a lunette (right wall) with The Last Communion of St. Luigi Gonzaga, both by Francesco Trevisani (1656–1746); the cupola was painted by Luigi Garzi (1638–1721). The third chapel has an 18th-century altarpiece of The Presentation of the Virgin in the Temple by Stefano Pozzi (1699–1768).

The chapel in the right transept, dedicated to St. Aloysius Gonzaga, has a large marble high-relief depicting St. Aloyzius Gonzaga in Glory (1697–99) by the French Pierre Legros. Andrea Pozzo painted the ceiling which shows the saint in glory. Buried in the side altar next to Gonzaga is St. Robert Bellarmine.

The chapel in the left transept houses the relics of Saint John Berchmans.

The chapel just to the right of the church's presbytery (at the south-east corner) houses the funeral monuments of Pope Gregory XV and his nephew, Cardinal Ludovisi, the church's founder. Pierre Legros and Pierre-Étienne Monnot made Gregory XV's monument some sixty years after Gregory's death.

The chapel in the left transept has a marble altarpiece of the Annunciation by Filippo Della Valle, with allegorical figures and angels (1649) by Pietro Bracci, and a frescoed ceiling with The Assumption by Andrea Pozzo. The second and first chapels to the left have paintings by Jesuit Pierre de Lattre, who also did the sacristy paintings.

List of cardinal deacons

The Cardinal Deaconry of Sant Ignazio di Loyola a Campo Marzio was established June 28, 1991. They include:

  • Paolo Dezza, s.j. (28 June 1991 – 17 December 1999)
  • Vacant (18 December 1999 - 20 February 2001)
  • Roberto Tucci, s.j. (21 February 2001 – present)

See also

  • Anamorphosis


External links