The Titular Church of Cardinal Dante and Cardinal Burke: Sant'Agata de' Goti

Nestled in the heart of Rome and sitting below the present street level is a former Arian church, Sant'Agata de' Goti (St. Agatha of the Goths).  This fifth century church is not one of the primary tourist attractions in the myriad of competing churches and basilicas that can be found within Rome -- all the more reason to visit it -- but it is certainly worth of a visit for any number of reasons -- not least of which its its interesting and colourful history, tied as it was originally to the Arian heresy, later re-consecrated by Pope St. Gregory Great for Catholic use at the end of the 6th century. 

One of the features of this splendid church that always captures my attention is its ciborium:

This ciborium is, to my mind, the picture of Roman noble simplicity. Clean and simple in its lines and yet noble and ornamental at the same time.

A closer look at some of the cosmatesque ornament which adorns it:

The church does, of course, have other interesting features worth seeing as well, such as the splendid apse painting of the "Glory of St. Agatha" by the 17th century painter, Paolo Gismondo:

The ornamental ceiling, added in the 17th century by two titular cardinals who were members of Rome's famed Barberini family, Francesco (the nephew of Pope Urban VIII) and Antonio. They were responsible for some of the other more contemporary features within the church as well. 

The unassuming 18th century facade of the church:

The charming courtyard with its 16th century well (which also gives a good sense of the level of the church by comparison with the present day street level):

Amongst some of the notable contemporary titular cardinals this church has seen are, presently, Raymond Cardinal Leo Burke, Silvio Cardinal Oddi and Enrico Cardinal Dante (former Papal Master of Ceremonies in the pre-conciliar era). Here is the latter's monument which can be found within this church:

Certainly there are any number of reasons to visit whenever you next find yourself in the Eternal City. 

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