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

Virtually visit Basilica of San Nicola in Carcere, between sacred and profane

Antoine Mekary | ALETEIA

Marinella Bandini - published on 03/20/21

Station Church Day 31: A Roman basilica devoted to the saint we know as Santa Claus.

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 31

The Basilica of San Nicola in Carcere is one of the oldest diaconias in Rome, already existing in the 6th century. It’s an example of how Christianity enhances and—in this case—incorporates what the pagan world produced. 

This medieval church stands in the area of the ancient Forum Holitorium, or vegetable market, and it incorporates into its structure three pagan temples: the Temple of Hope and the Temple of Janus at the sides (several columns are embedded on the lateral walls of the church) and the Temple of Juno Sospita in the center, on top of which most of the church stands.

The basilica was built in 1128 and dedicated to St. Nicholas, bishop of Myra, since a flourishing Greek community lived in the area and was devoted to him. The name in Carcera (“in prison”) is due to the presence of what was thought to be a prison. Stories and legends have flourished on the subject; in reality, the “cells” identified in the excavations were most likely storerooms of money changers.

Inside the church is kept a wooden crucifix (14th century) that is said to have opened its eyes during a Mass celebrated by St. Gaspare del Bufalo. In a side chapel Our Lady of Guadalupe is venerated. It’s held to be one of the images of Mary that moved its eyes in 1796, during Napoleon’s military campaign in Italy.

O Lord my God, in you I take refuge;save me from all my pursuers, and deliver me,or like a lion they will tear me apart;they will drag me away, with no one to rescue.Psalm 7

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




Read more:
5 Things you (probably) did not know about Santa


SAINT NICHOLAS

Read more:
Saints who fought the death penalty (in various ways)

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

Tags:
Station 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 Aleteia.org 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
1
LOREN SCHAUERS
Annalisa Teggi
Amputee from the waist down is thankful every day to be alive
2
SAINT FAUSTINA,CELL
Fr. Patrick Briscoe, OP
St. Faustina’s coffee cup and lessons for Divine Mercy Sund...
3
HOLY SEPULCHRE CROSSES
Zelda Caldwell
Mystery of crosses on walls of Church of the Holy Sepulchre may h...
4
JESUS
Fr Robert McTeigue, SJ
A simple test to see if you really believe Christ is risen
5
PADRE PIO
Philip Kosloski
St. Padre Pio: His life, his miracles and his legacy
6
DIVINE MERCY
Aleteia
Here’s how to celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday at home
7
PRINCE PHILIP
Cerith Gardiner
11 Interesting facts about the late Prince Philip
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.