Open main menu

The churchEdit

Plan of S. Adriano
Doors of S. Adriano/Senate House
Remains of a fresco

The Church of Sant'Adriano al Foro (Italian for St. (H)Adrian at the Roman Forum) was a conversion of the Curia Julia, which had housed the Senate of Ancient Rome, by Pope Honorius I in 630.

The end of the sixth and the beginning of the seventh century mark for Rome a period of profound decay.[1] The curia had been abandoned until Honorius decided to erect the church.

Its name refers to the martyr Adrian of Nicomedia. Paintings are still visible in a side chapel which depict scenes from the life of St. Adrian; there are also some Byzantine paintings.[2] It was designated by Pope Sergius I (687-701) as the starting point for the litanies during certain the procession liturgical feasts of the Virgin Mary, Presentation in the Temple, Annunciation, Assumption and Nativity.[3] Pope Gregory IX made substantial changes to the building in 1228. In the 17th century its large bronze doors were moved by order of Pope Alexander VII to adorn the main portal of the Basilica of St. John Lateran.[2]

Reconstruction as Curia JuliaEdit

Its structure was modified multiple times before it was deconsecrated in the 1930s to recover the ancient structure of the building. On either side of the entrance are niches corresponding to medieval burials. The painting of the Holy Family, a product of the school of Raphael, was moved to the modern Church of Santa Maria della Mercede, and the dedication to Saint Adrian added to that church.[4]

Cardinal deaconryEdit

It was established in 734 as Cardinal Deaconry of S. Adriano al Foro

On 25 January 1946, the title was suppressed to establish the Cardinal Deaconry of S. Paolo alla Regola.

Cardinal deaconsEdit

The following Cardinals have been Cardinal deacons of the Deaconry,[5][6][7] except in special circumstances, which are noted by italics.


  1. ^ Hülsen, Christian. The Roman Forum - History and Monuments, p.24, Ermanno Loescher & Co., 1905
  2. ^ a b Lorizzo, Paul. "The Ancient Center of Roman Power", Zenit, May 19 2012
  3. ^ Miranda, Salvatore. "Deaconries", Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church
  4. ^ "Parish of Santa Maria and Merced Sant Adriano", Diocese of Rome
  5. ^ David M. Cheney, GCatholic: Cardinal-Deacons of S. Adriano al Foro Romano. Retrieved: 03/11/2016.
  6. ^ Conradus Eubel, Hierarchia catholica medii aevi I, editio altera (Monasterii 1913), p. 48 (1182-1431).
  7. ^ Conradus Eubel, Hierarchia catholica medii aevi II, editio altera (Monasterii 1914), p. 66 (1385-1503).


  • Michele Dattoli, L'aula del Senato Romano e la chiesa di S. Adriano (Roma: Maglione & Strini, 1921).
  • Antonio Nibby, Roma nell'anno MDCCCXXXVIII: pte. I-II. Antica (Roma: Tipografia delle belle arti, 1839), pp. 27–32.

Sources and external linksEdit

  • [1], original pictures of the exterior of the church and its conversion
  • [2], original picture of the pre-1930 interior of the church