Saturday, September 14, 2019


Via dei Pellegrini - Città del Vaticano

Mentioned for the first time by sources at the end of the eighth century
Restored in 1590
Archaeological excavations have uncovered paintings dating back to the ninth century
Alexander VII Chigi (1655/67) officially gave it in 1657 to the Swiss Guards who later abandoned it, so that it was transformed into a chicken coop

It was later restored for the Swiss Guards and now it is the CHAPEL OF THE CORPS OF POLICE OF THE STATE OF VATICAN CITY (Corpo della Gendarmeria)

“This small sacred place unknown to most people is full of history and evokes extraordinary impressions. First and foremost impressions of pilgrimages. Peregrinus, a Roman priest who made Gaul a Christian land in the late third century, is the titular saint of the chapel and one can easily understand why. For those who came from the North in their penitential journey ad limina Petri (to the threshold of Peter), the first encounter with Rome used to take place here. (...) The walls are full of frescoes with the name and emblem of the captains of the Swiss Guard, the armed corps in defense of the person of Pope Julius II instituted in 1506. One of them hit me in a special way, dating back to 1527. The mentioned person is the captain Gaspar Rost. And here suddenly the terrible May 1527, the Sack of Rome is evoked. 14,000 lansquenets, in good part Lutherans, led by Georg Frundesberg, gave the assault to the Apostolic Palace. To defend it there are 147 Swiss. It was a fierce confrontation, spear against spear, sword and dagger against sword and dagger. At the end of the atrocious butchery all the Swiss Guards of the Pope had died. Among others, Captain Gaspar Rost who was slain with his soldiers to allow Pope Clement VII to retire with his court in the untakeable Castel Sant'Angelo” (Antonio Paolucci - L'Osservatore Romano, May 30, 2010)

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