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The church of Santa Marina is located in the cemetery of Ardea and on its main entrance is the date 1191 by Cencio Savelli, Pope Honorius III.

Santa Marina was born in Asia Minor in the late fifth century AD, and lost her mother, she followed her father into a monastery posing as a boy. He becomes a monk dedicating himself to the poor and was accused by a landlady of having her raped and made pregnant. Marina pleaded guilty, was expelled from her convent and lived in a cave with the baby. Moved with compassion the brothers brought her back though to do very menial tasks. Only on her death was it realized that she was a woman and they began to worship her for the magnanimity with which she had lived in poverty. Then she was buried and her tomb became a place of miracles and healings.

Knowing the history of Santa Marina and seeing the church, the cave and the rock on which was built this church we understand the hard life, full of sacrifices and hardships that a woman, dressed as a monk, endured for the sake of a child, a creature without fault. A life lived in holiness.

Hypogeum of the church of Santa Marina

From the inside of the church there is an underground way to the old cemetery of the city. Some of these rooms have been decorated with in the twelfth century in stucco with paintings of religious subjects. These are particular unique features in the medieval history of Lazio.


Traveller's Guide to Italy