Sant'Onofrio (Rome)


Sant'Onofrio al Gianicolo is a titular church in Trastevere, Rome. It is the official church of the papal order of knighthood Order of the Holy Sepulchre. A side chapel is dedicated specifically to the Order and a former grand master, Nicola Canali is entombed there.

The church contains memorials of Torquato Tasso, the author of Gerusalemme Liberata, the epic poem that retells the deeds of the crusaders who fought to regain possession of the Holy Sepulchre itself. After wandering all over Italy, the poet requested and obtained shelter at the monastery of Sant’Onofrio and spent the last years of his life there.

It was built in 1439 on the site of an ancient hermitage, as part of a cloistered monastery of the Hieronymites that existed here from the 15th-16th century. Behind the Renaissance portico are three lunettes by Domenichino, painted in 1605, commemorating the hermits who lived here and depicting scenes from the life of St Jerome. The church also contains The Madonna of Loreto by Agostino Carracci (his only work in a church in Rome) and frescoes of Scenes from the Life of Mary, attributed to Baldassare Peruzzi.

The first chapel to the right has an Annunciation by Antoniazzo Romano and an Eternal Father attributed to Baldassarre Peruzzi. The second chapel has frescoes and stuccoes (1605) by Giovanni Battista Ricci with an altarpiece of the Madonna di Loreto by pupils of Annibale Carracci. Next to the main altar is a Monument to Giovanni Sacco attributed to the school of Andrea Bregno with frescoes of St. Anne Teaching the Virgin to Read by a painter of the Umbrian school. The sacristy ceiling has frescoes by Girolamo Pesci, while the walls have a Peter of Pisa by Francesco Trevisani. The apse has frescoes of the Stories of Mary attributed to Peruzzi by Vasari. In the third chapel on the left, is a monument of the Cardinal Filippo Sega with a portrait by Domenichino. In the second chapel is a Trinity fresco on the ceiling by Francesco Trevisani. In the first chapel to the left, is a monument to Torquato Tasso (1857) by Giuseppe Fabris.

The attached cloister was added in the mid-15th century and has frescoes by the Cavaliere d'Arpino (Giuseppe Cesari) and others with scenes from the life of Saint Onuphrius. It was in this cloister that the poet Torquato Tasso died on April 25, 1595, the evening before he was to be crowned with laurels on the Capitoline Hill. The monastery houses the Museo Tassiano of manuscripts and editions of his work. Its collections also include his death mask.

Since the 1950s, the church has been under the care of the American congregation of Franciscan Friars of the Atonement, which is their only community in continental Europe.


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Coordinates: 41°53′50″N 12°27′41″E / 41.89722°N 12.46139°E / 41.89722; 12.46139

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