Rome Guides: San Francesco a Ripa
A few blocks from the Tiber and a ten minute walk from Santa Maria in Trastevere, San Franceso a Ripa is a small church which once was home to Saint Francis during his stay in Rome. The church also features a startling statue - the Agony of Blessed Ludovica Albertoni with the Saint's body buried beneath the sculpture. Made by the Renaissance master Benini, the sculpture depicts the final moments of Blessed Ludovica and is lit by twin windows on either side with cherubs surrounding the statue.
San Francesco a Ripa (Rome) - Interior. Wikimedia Commons
Above the statue on the second level of the building is the chapel in which Francis prayed for his stay in Rome. This chapel is perhaps most interesting for its altar. Though beautiful in and of itself with fascinating artwork of the saints, the altar's real draw is its ability to transform from artwork to reliquary repository. With a crank of a receded lever, the designs slip around to reveal dozens of hidden relics. As with all churches, entrance is free - and there is therefore little excuse to miss a trip to see this site of Francis' pilgrimage to Rome. Sources: Bernini, By Howard Hibbard