Santa Bibiana

Santa Bibiana is a small church in Rome, devoted to St Bibiana. It was initially built by Pope Simplicius, and consecrated in 467. The church was restored by Pope Honorius III in 1224.

The present facade was designed and built by then 26 year old Gian Lorenzo Bernini in 1624-1626, as commissioned by Pope Urban VIII. The columns lining the nave are from the original 5th century church.

The church houses a statue of the titular saint, also by Bernini (1626). It shows St. Bibiana holding the palm leaf of martyrs, standing next to the column to which she was to be martyred.

The frescoes on the walls are by Pietro da Cortona (left) and Agostino Ciampelli (right).

The bodies of St Bibiana (Viviana or Vibiana), her mother Dafrosa and her sister Demetria where discovered inside a 3rd century sarcophagus, and now rest inside an alabaster urn under the major altar. The column just inside the church is said to be the one Bibiana was strapped to.

The church of Santa Bibiana is located in 154 via Giovanni Giolitti in Rome, adjacent to Termini Station and not far from the so-called "Temple of Minerva Medica".

Building Activity

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