Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Thursday 15 April |
Saint of the Day: Bl. César de Bus
home iconSpirituality
line break icon

Virtually visit the Basilica of the Santi Quattro Coronati: Who is crowned?

Antoine Mekary | ALETEIA

Marinella Bandini - published on 03/15/21

Station Church Day 27: Here history is intertwined with legend (and mathematics).

Aleteia invites you to a virtual Lenten pilgrimage through Rome’s 42 station churches: one church per day, from February 17 to April 11.

Day 27

In the Basilica of the Santi Quattro Coronati (the “Four Holy Crowned Ones”), at the beginning of the fourth week of Lent, history is intertwined with legend (and mathematics). It’s not clear, in fact, who the four “crowned ones” are (the crown is that of martyrdom). Nor is it clear if there are four or five of them…. What is certain is that their devotion has been widespread since the 4th century and their remains are kept in the crypt of this basilica.

Tradition identifies them with one of two different groups. One possibility is that they’re five stoneworkers from Pannonia (Claudius, Castorius, Sempronianus, Nicostratus and Simplicius) put to death for refusing to carve pagan idols. Another is that they’re four Roman soldiers of Christian faith: Severus, Severianus, Carpophorus and Victorinus.

We’re on the slopes of the Caelian Hill, in front of a fortified monastic complex, entrusted to the Augustinian nuns since the mid-1500s. The first basilica dates back to the 5th century. It was rebuilt and enlarged in the Carolingian era by Leo IV and rebuilt (and downsized again) by Paschal II at the beginning of the 12th century: that structure is what we see today.

In the apse, the vault fresco depicts the glory of all the saints. Underneath is a cycle with the stories of the crowned saints. In the left aisle, the altar of St. Sebastian holds fragments of the martyr’s head.

Among the jewels of the Santi Quattro complex is the Gothic Hall, currently inaccessible, with a pictorial cycle from the 13th century.

I will rejoice in Jerusalem,and delight in my people;no more shall the sound of weeping be heard in it,or the cry of distress.Is 65:19

* In collaboration with the Social Communications Office of the Vicariate of Rome.

Read about the tradition of the station churches here. And see previous churches in the pilgrimage here.

LentStation Churches
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Annalisa Teggi
Amputee from the waist down is thankful every day to be alive
Fr. Patrick Briscoe, OP
St. Faustina’s coffee cup and lessons for Divine Mercy Sund...
Zelda Caldwell
Mystery of crosses on walls of Church of the Holy Sepulchre may h...
Fr Robert McTeigue, SJ
A simple test to see if you really believe Christ is risen
Philip Kosloski
St. Padre Pio: His life, his miracles and his legacy
Here’s how to celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday at home
Cerith Gardiner
11 Interesting facts about the late Prince Philip
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.