San Pietro in Vincoli
For other churches of this dedication, see St Peter ad Vincula (disambiguation). San Pietro in Vincoli (Saint Peter in Chains) is a Roman Catholic titular church and minor basilica in Rome, Italy, best known for being the home of Michelangelo's magnificent statue of Moses, part of the tomb of Pope Julius II.

History
Also known as the Basilica Eudoxiana, it was first rebuilt on older foundations in 432-440 to house the relic of the chains that bound Saint Peter when he was imprisoned in Jerusalem, the episode called the Liberation of Saint Peter. The Empress Eudoxia (wife of Emperor Valentinian III), who received them as a gift from her mother, Aelia Eudocia, consort of Valentinian II, presented the chains to Pope Leo I. Aelia Eudocia had received these chains as a gift from Iuvenalis, bishop of Jerusalem. According to legend, when Leo, while he compared them to the chains of St. Peter's final imprisonment in the Mamertine Prison in Rome, the two chains miraculously fused together. The chains are kept in a reliquary under the main altar in the basilica. The basilica, consecrated in 439 by Sixtus III, has undergone several restorations, among them a restoration by Pope Adrian I, and further work in the eleventh century. From 1471 to 1503, in which year he was elected Pope Julius II, Cardinal Della Rovere, the nephew of Pope Sixtus IV, effected notable rebuilding. The front portico, attributed to Baccio Pontelli, was added in 1475. The cloister (1493-1503) has been attributed to Giuliano da Sangallo. Further work was done at the beginning of the 18th century, under Francesco Fontana, and there was also a renovation in 1875. The Titulus S. Petri ad vincula is currently vacant. The most recent Cardinal Priest of the basilica was Pío Laghi, who died on January 11, 2009. Two popes were elected in this church : Pope John II in 533 and Pope Gregory VII in 1073.

Interior
The interior has a nave and two aisles, with three apses divided by antique Doric columns. The aisles are surmounted by cross-vaults, while the nave has an 18th century coffered ceiling, frescoed in the center by Giovanni Battista Parodi, portraying the Miracle of the Chains (1706). Michelangelo's Moses (completed in 1515), while originally intended as part of a massive 47-statue, free-standing funeral monument for Pope Julius II, became the centerpiece of the Pope's funeral monument and tomb in this, the church of della Rovere family. Moses is depicted with horns, connoting "the radiance of the Lord", due to the similarity in the Hebrew words for "beams of light" and "horns". This kind of iconographic symbolism was common in early sacred art, and for an artist horns are easier to sculpt than rays of light. Other works of art include two canvases of Saint Augustine and St. Margaret by Guercino, the monument of Cardinal Girolamo Agucchi designed by Domenichino, who is also the painter of a sacristy fresco depicting the Liberation of St. Peter (1604). The altarpiece on the first chapel to the left is a Deposition by Cristoforo Roncalli. The tomb of Cardinal Nicholas of Kues (d 1464), with its relief, Cardinal Nicholas before St Peter, is by Andrea Bregno. Painter and sculptor Antonio Pollaiuolo is buried at the left side of the entrance. He is the Florentine sculptor who added the figures of Romulus and Remus to the sculpture of the Capitoline Wolf on the Capitol. The tomb of Cardinal Cinzio Passeri Aldobrandini, decorated with imagery of the Grim Reaper, is also in the church. In 1876 archeologists discovered the tombs of those once believed to be the seven Maccabean martyrs depicted in 2 Maccabees 7-41. It is highly unlikely that these are in fact the Jewish martyrs that had offered their lives in Jerusalem. They are remembered each year on 1 August, the same day as the miracle of the fusing of the two chains. The third altar in the left aisle holds a mosaic of Saint Sebastian from the seventh century. This mosaic is related to an outbreak of plague in Pavia, in northern Italy. It would only stop if an altar was built for St. Sebastian in the church of S. Pietro in Vincoli in that city. Somehow this story also became accepted in Rome. Hence the altar.

List of Cardinal-Priests since 1405
List of the cardinal titulars of the church

  • Antonio Arcioni (12 June 1405 - 21 July 1405)
  • Antonio Correr (9 May 1408 - 9 May 1409)
  • João Afonso Esteves da Azambuja (6 June 1411 - 23 January 1415)
  • Juan de Cervantes (27 May 1426 - 27 March 1447)
  • Nikolaus von Cusa (3 January 1449 - 12 August 1464)
  • Francesco della Rovere (20 November 1467 - 10 August 1471)
  • Giuliano della Rovere (22 December 1471 - 1 November 1503)
  • Galeotto Franciotti della Rovere (6 December 1503 - 11 September 1507)
  • Sisto Gara della Rovere (11 September 1507 - 8 March 1517)
  • Leonardo Grosso della Rovere (9 March 1517 - 17 September 1520)
  • Silvio Passerini (17 September 1520 - 5 January 1521)
  • Albrecht von Brandenburg (5 January 1521 - 24 September 1545)
  • Jacopo Sadoleto (27 November 1545 - 18 October 1547)
  • Jean du Bellay (26 October 1547 - 9 April 1548)
  • Giulio della Rovere (9 April 1548 - 12 April 1570)
  • Antoine Perrenot de Granvella (9 June 1570 - 9 July 1578)
  • Giovanni Antonio Serbelloni (12 April 1570 - 9 June 1570)
  • Markus Sitticus von Hohenems Altemps (3 October 1578 - 17 August 1579)
  • Stanislaw Hosius (9 July 1578 - 3 October 1578)
  • Alfonso Gesualdo (17 August 1579 - 5 December 1580)
  • Marco Antonio Colonna (5 December 1580 - 13 October 1586)
  • Girolamo della Rovere (14 January 1587 - 7 February 1592)
  • Alessandro Ottaviano de' Medici (14 February 1592 - 21 February 1600)
  • François de Joyeuse (27 April 1594 - 24 March 1604)
  • Girolamo Agucchi (25 June 1604 - 27 April 1605)
  • Cinzio Passeri Aldobrandini (1 June 1605 - 1 January 1610)
  • Lanfranco Margotti (11 January 1610 - 28 February 1611)
  • Bartolomeo Cesi (5 December 1611 - 7 January 1613)
  • Bonifazio Bevilacqua Aldobrandini (7 January 1613 - 29 March 1621)
  • Michelangelo Tonti (13 October 1621 - 21 April 1622)
  • François d’Escoubleau de Sourdis (29 March 1621 - 13 October 1621)
  • Luigi Capponi (2 May 1622 - 20 August 1629)
  • Laudivio Zacchia (17 September 1629 - 30 August 1637)
  • Antonio Barberini (7 September 1637 - 26 May 1642)
  • Bernardino Spada (22 May 1642 - 19 February 1646)
  • Marzio Ginetti (19 February 1646 - 23 September 1652)
  • Giovanni Battista Maria Pallotta (23 September 1652 - 21 April 1659)
  • Ulderico Carpegna (21 April 1659 - 21 November 1661)
  • Alderano Cibo (21 November 1661 - 24 May 1676)
  • Emmanuel Théodose de la Tour d’Auvergne de Bouillon (19 October 1676 - 19 October 1689)
  • Savo Millini (12 December 1689 - 10 February 1701)
  • Pierre de Bonzi (19 October 1689 - 28 November 1689)
  • Marcello Durazzo (21 February 1701 - 27 April 1710)
  • Fulvio Astalli (7 May 1710 - 16 April 1714)
  • Ferdinando d’Adda (16 April 1714 - 21 January 1715)
  • Lorenzo Casoni (21 January 1715 - 19 November 1720)
  • Lorenzo Corsini (16 December 1720 - 19 November 1725)
  • Gianantonio Davia (19 November 1725 - 11 February 1737)
  • Vincenzo Petra (11 February 1737 - 16 September 1740)
  • Francesco Antonio Finy (16 September 1740 - 11 March 1743)
  • Nicolò Maria Lercari (11 March 1743 - 21 March 1757)
  • Antonio Andrea Galli (23 May 1757 - 24 March 1767)
  • Gaetano Fantuzzi Gottifredi (6 April 1767 - 1 October 1778)
  • Lazzaro Opizio Pallavicino (14 December 1778 - 23 February 1785)
  • Giuseppe Maria Doria Pamphilj (11 April 1785 - 20 September 1802)
  • Girolamo Della Porta (20 September 1802 - 5 September 1812)
  • Tommaso Arezzo (29 April 1816 - 29 May 1820)
  • Paolo Giuseppe Solaro (24 November 1823 - 9 September 1824)
  • Joachim-Jean-Xavier d’Isoard (17 September 1827 - 15 April 1833)
  • Castruccio Castracane degli Antelminelli (29 July 1833 - 22 January 1844)
  • Niccola Clarelli Parracciani (25 January 1844 - 22 February 1867)
  • Luis de la Lastra y Cuesta (12 July 1867 - 5 May 1876)
  • Giovanni Simeoni (18 December 1876 - 14 January 1892)
  • Ignazio Persico (19 January 1893 - 7 December 1895)
  • Adolphe Perraud (25 June 1896 - 10 February 1906)
  • Désiré-Joseph Mercier (18 April 1907 - 23 January 1926)
  • Luigi Capotosti (24 June 1926 - 16 February 1938)
  • Teódosio de Gouveia (22 February 1946 - 6 February 1962)
  • Leo Jozef Suenens (22 March 1962 - 6 May 1996)
  • Jean Balland (21 February 1998 - 1 March 1998)
  • Louis-Marie Billé (21 February 2001 - 22 July 2001)
  • Pio Laghi (26 February 2002 - 10 January 2009)

Media

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Building Activity

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