Santa Maria Maggiore (Rome)

Santa Maria Maggiore (Rome)


Description of Church of Santa Maria Maggiore

Santa Maria Maggiore (Rome)

Piazza di Santa Maria Maggiore
Tel. 06- 48 31 95
Bus: 16, 70, 71, 714
Subway: Termini, Cavour
Open: 7am- 7pm daily


The church of Santa Maria Maggiore was originally constructed here in 356 by pope Liberius. Legend claims that he saw a Virgin in his dream who told him that snow will show him where to build a new church. On August 5th snow fell on Rome and the first place it covered was current location of the church. Hence to this day the Miracle of Snow is celebrated with thousands of white flowers and petals representing the August snow. Then it comes to architectural style Santa Maria Maggiore is truly a symbol of Rome. Old and new are so organically build into each other it is hard to distinguish which part belong to what period. Its colonnaded triple nave is that of the 5th century church that originally stood here. Additionally mosaics on triumphal arch and biblical scenes date to that time period. Bell Tower is a medieval. Renaissance gave church its beautiful ceiling and Baroque added its twin domes.


Legal status

The building of the Basilica, including the external stairways, constitutes an extraterritorial area in favor of the Holy See. The basilica enjoys, together with other buildings and on the basis of agreements between the Italian State and the Holy See, the privilege of extraterritoriality and the exemption from expropriations and taxes, as established by the Lateran Pacts and formalized in the Villa Madama Agreement.

Liberian Chapter
The Liberian Chapter is chaired by the cardinal archpriest and made up of canons, all of them by papal appointment. This special priestly college is integrated by the coadjutors, also of pontifical nomination and together represent the clergy in charge of the liturgical and administrative care of the entire papal basilica.

Pastoral care is entrusted to the homonymous and adjacent parish in San Vito, whose clergy belong to the basilica and are at the same time responsible for the sacristy as regards the celebration of the sacraments.

The liturgical service is carried out by the Almo Collegio Capranica, whose rector is an honorary canon during munere.

Liberian Music Chapel
It is a direct descendant of the Schola Cantorum, being formally constituted in 1545, under the authority of the cardinal archpriest and the chapter.

It has the purpose of liturgical animation of the Sunday chapter mass, as well as on the occasion of solemnities, interpreting the musical texts provided for the liturgy in Gregorian and polyphonic chant.

Fraternitas Mater Dei et Ecclesiae
It is an organism established in 1974 by the cardinal archpriest and dependent on the chapter, as an association-based organism, wanting to represent an aggregation aimed at the moral and material support of the basilica, as the first Marian center in the world and around which the faithful converge, according to their own state of life.


History and description

Built, according to tradition, during the pontificate of Liberius (352-366), it was rebuilt or restructured by Pope Sixtus III (432-440), who dedicated it to the cult of the Madonna, whose divine motherhood had just been recognized by the council of Ephesus (431).

According to tradition, the Madonna appeared in a dream to Pope Liberius and the patrician John, suggesting that a basilica be erected in a place that would be miraculously indicated. So when an unusual snowfall whitened the Esquiline on the morning of 5 August, Liberio would have traced the perimeter of the new basilica in the snow, which was later built thanks to Giovanni's funding. The memory of this ancient building remains only in a passage from the Liber Pontificalis which states that Liberio «fecit basilicam nomini di lui iuxta Macellum Liviae».

In any case, on August 5 of each year, in memory of Our Lady of the Snow, the re-enactment of the so-called "miracle of the snow" takes place: during the celebration of mass in the morning and Vespers in the evening, it comes down from the center of the ceiling to caissons at the crypt of the manger, a cascade of white petals.

The previous church was dedicated to the belief in the Creed proclaimed by the First Council of Nicaea.

The basilica built by Sixtus III starting from the year 432 had three naves, divided by 21 bare columns on each side, surmounted by Ionic capitals, above which a continuous architrave ran. The central nave was lit by 21 windows on each side (half of which were subsequently plugged) and was surmounted by a wooden roof with exposed trusses.

The mosaics
"Art tried new forms in the triumphal arch of the basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore erected by Sixtus III, where it seems to echo the prayer of Cyril at the Council of Ephesus against the heresy of Nestorius:" Hello, O Mary, mother of God, venerable treasure of the whole world, lamp that never goes out, shining crown of virginity, indestructible temple, mother and virgin at the same time ... Hello, oh you who have carried infinity in your womb ... "(Adolfo Venturi )

The nave was always decorated in the Sistine age with mosaics, within panels placed under the windows, originally enclosed by aedicules, with a cycle of stories from the Old Testament: stories of Abraham, Jacob, Isaac on the left side, Moses and Joshua on the right. . Of the original forty-two panels, many of which featured two superimposed scenes, 27 remain (12 on the left wall and 15 on the right) after the destruction due to the eighteenth-century side openings.

This is certainly the first figurative cycle to appear in a Roman church. The Old Testament stories show undoubted stylistic tangencies with the so-called "Vatican Virgil", a manuscript of the Aeneid preserved in the Vatican Apostolic Library, and with the Bible called Itala di Quedlinburg, but links with imperial iconography have also been noted, according to a process of appropriation of the imperial image and visual attributes typical of early Christian art. These relationships, as well as the not always chronological arrangement of the scenes and completely functional to each single episode and to rhythmic correspondences within the series, underlie the use of a specially designed figurative plan, perhaps even by the very young Leone not yet pope.

These stories present stylistic characteristics linked to late antique painting (a seventeenth-century tradition that begins with Ciampini even wanted them to have been made in the fourth century): shading, shades with gradual color transitions, realistic depiction of space and volumes, splashes of color, background iridescent in relation to the contrast with the figures.

More hieratic and rhythmically dilated are the scenes of the mosaics of the triumphal arch, representing some moments of the Childhood of Christ, some of which are taken from apocryphal gospels (Annunciation, Presentation at the Temple, Adoration of the Magi, Meeting with the governor Aphrodisio, Massacre of the innocenti, Magi at Herod). In particular, the meeting with the Egyptian governor Aphrodisio in front of the city of Sotine, in addition to being a visual pendant to the adoration of the Magi on the opposite side, is an episode attested only in Santa Maria Maggiore, and taken from the apocryphal Gospels: Jesus, while fleeing to Egypt, he enters the city of Sotine with his parents, the pagan idols immediately fall to the ground and Aphrodisio greets the Child as Redeemer. At the top of the arch, the Throne of Etymasia with a Cross, flanked by Saints Peter and Paul, and surmounted by the Tetramorph. Below appears a panel, with the inscription Xystus episcopus plebi Dei (Sixtus bishop to the people of God), in gold letters on a blue background, which is the dedication of the pope who founded the basilica. On the sides, the two holy cities, Jerusalem and Bethlehem, inside which the colonnades of the basilica extend illusionistically, indicating in it almost a prelude to the heavenly Jerusalem.

The programmatic design of this Sistine decoration therefore intended to reaffirm the divinity of Christ incarnate in the Virgin, as reaffirmed in the recent Council of Ephesus (431), and at the same time the primacy of the Roman Church in the Christian ecumene. The very arrangement of the Old Testament scenes, the choice of the episodes of the triumphal arch, the priority of the visual correspondences over the chronological ones, all converge in the identification of a sort of visual theology, of a figurative symbolic manifesto, which represented a novelty in the context of Rome of those crucial years of the fifth century.

The interventions from the XII to the XIV century
New apse and mosaics
The Cosmatesque floor, redone in the restorations of the Fuga, and a portico leaning against the façade (remodeled under Pope Gregory XIII and then destroyed in the eighteenth century to make room for the new baroque façade ).

The basilica was the subject of important interventions in view of the first jubilee of the year 1300; in particular during the pontificate of Niccolò IV the transept was added and a new apse was created which was decorated with rich mosaics made by Jacopo Torriti (Coronation of Mary and Stories of Mary), dated 1295. This is the first Coronation of the Virgin in the apse. Seated on the same sumptuous Throne and next to the Redeemer, Mary is dressed in royal clothes, typical of the Byzantine form of the time and also specific to the Marian cult in Rome. This mosaic, a synthesis of orientalizing ways and Roman artistic spirit, concludes a millenary season of Christian-Byzantine-Roman art.

The mosaics on the façade, the work of Filippo Rusuti, whose commission is to be referred to Cardinal Pietro Colonna, and the construction of the chapel of the Nativity by Arnolfo di Cambio (destroyed to make way for the Sistine Chapel) date back to the same period. The surviving figures of the nativity scene are now exhibited in the basilica museum.

Bell tower
The Romanesque bell tower is 75 meters high, the highest in Rome. Built between 1375-1376, it was, over the centuries, raised and completed under Cardinal Guglielmo d'Estouteville, archpriest of the basilica between 1445 and 1483, who was also responsible, for static purposes, for the large cross vault of division between the lower part and the first floor. In the early nineteenth century it was equipped with a clock. We find orders of double single-light windows and, in the subsequent floors, mullioned windows.

The bell tower hosts a concert of 5 ancient bells cast by various founders and different eras, the 1st refused by Lucenti in ??, the 2nd by Guidotto Pisano in 1289 and the other 3 from the 16th-19th centuries

The notes of them are:
1st C3 waning
3º Re3
5th Sol3


The bell tower also kept the bell donated by Alfano, chamberlain of Callisto II (1119-1124), which, removed under Leo XIII, is kept today in the Vatican Museums.

The main bell is called "La Sperduta" and it rings just after 9pm, recalling a legend that dates back to the 16th century. In fact, it is said that a shepherdess, according to some versions blind, was lost in the meadows that at that time surrounded the Esquiline, grazing her flock. By now the evening had fallen, the bells of the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore were made to ring so that the tolling would guide her home. It then seems that she never actually came back, but the bells keep calling her. Hence the evening ritual called the "Lost". According to another tradition, instead of a shepherdess, it was a pilgrim (or a distinguished traveler, according to other sources) who, coming to Rome on foot, lost her way and had therefore prayed to the Virgin asking for her help. She immediately heard the tolling of the bell, following which she reached the Basilica and therefore salvation. In memory of the fact, the pilgrim left an income so that at 2 am (transformed at 9 pm in recent times) the bell would be perpetually rung.

The interventions of the fifteenth century: the golden ceiling of the nave
In the fifteenth century, Cardinal Guglielmo d'Estouteville (1403-1483) had the side aisles covered with vaults, while the central nave was decorated with a rich coffered ceiling built on a project attributed to the architect Giuliano da Sangallo, commissioned by Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia , ascended to the papal throne with the name of Alexander VI. The coffered ceiling, richly carved, has the heraldic coat of arms of the pontiff in the center, recognizable by the presence of the bull. Each carved element has gold leaf gilding which, according to tradition, was made with the first gold that came from the Americas (Peru) and donated by the Spanish sovereign to the Church.

The interventions of the sixteenth century: the Sistine chapel
Sixtus V, a great protagonist of the urban transformation of Rome at the end of the sixteenth century, chose the basilica as a sumptuous burial site for himself, for his family and for his great protector Pope Pius V. For this purpose he commissioned his architect Domenico Fontana, in 1585, to erect a new monumental chapel, dedicated to the Blessed Sacrament, memorable - as well as for the furnishings and materials used - because it integrated the ancient oratory of the Nativity, with the sculptures of Arnolfo, the connected relics of the manger and the reliefs made by the sculptor Niccolò Fiammingo.

The entire small room was thus moved from its original position (as an annex to the right aisle) in the center of the new chapel under the altar, in a new crypt with an ambulatory, like a real confession. For the ornamentation of the chapel, among other things, polychrome marbles and columns from the Septizonium were used, while the Cosmatesque decoration of the ancient chapel was transferred to cover the altar of the new confession under the papal altar, which is surmounted by a precious ciborium, in which four angels in gilded bronze are sculpted (by Sebastiano Torrigiani) which support the model of the chapel itself. Sixtus V also had a cycle of frescoes painted on the walls that covered some of the early Christian windows.

At the end of the century the Sforza Chapel dates back to a design by Michelangelo Buonarroti.

The interventions of the seventeenth century: the Pauline chapel
In June 1605 Pope Paul V Borghese decided to build the family chapel in the basilica, shaped like a Greek cross and the size of a small church. The architectural part was entrusted to Flaminio Ponzio, bound in the plan by the mirror chapel of Pope Sixtus V. Completed the structure in 1611, the decorative part, with colored marble, gold and precious stones, was finished at the end of 1616. The side walls are placed the two tombs of popes Clement VIII and Paul V, enclosed in a triumphal arch architecture with their statue and pictorial bas-reliefs in the center.

The sculptural part was created between 1608 and 1615 by a heterogeneous group of artists: Silla Longhi, who had the major part of the work creating the two papal statues, Ambrogio Buonvicino, Giovanni Antonio Paracca known as Valsoldo, Cristoforo Stati, Nicolas Cordier, Ippolito Buzio, Camillo Mariani, Pietro Bernini, Stefano Maderno and Francesco Mochi.


The direction of the pictorial work was entrusted to the Cavalier d'Arpino who created the pendentives of the dome and the lunette above the altar. Ludovico Cigoli built the dome while Guido Reni was the main author of the individual figures of saints which were also handled by Passignano, Giovanni Baglione and Baldassare Croce; subsequently Lanfranco, according to Bellori, intervened by transforming an angel into the Virgin.

On the altar of the chapel is the icon of the Salus populi romani, a painted image of the Virgin of the Roman orientalizing type (12th-13th centuries).

The exterior of the apse, facing Piazza dell'Esquilino, is the work of Carlo Rainaldi, who presented Pope Clement IX with a less expensive project than that of the contemporary Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Among other things, this would have involved the destruction of the mosaics of the apse, which in the new layout would have reached almost the height of the obelisk behind it.

Interventions from the 18th century to the present day
The last major interventions on the outside of the basilica were carried out during the pontificate of Benedict XIV, who commissioned Ferdinando Fuga to rebuild the main facade, characterized by a portico and a loggia for blessings, which was carried out between 1741 and 1743. The canopy of the confession is also owed to the Fuga, erected on porphyry columns.

The Confession under the high altar was commissioned by Pope Pius IX and carried out by Virginio Vespignani. Here, the relics of the cradle of the nativity were placed in a crystal reliquary made by Luigi Valadier.

The Sacristy of the Canons and the Chapter Hall were restored under the direction of the Chapter architect Giovanni Battista Benedetti between 1863 and 1864.

The central doors of the Basilica were modeled by Ludovico Pogliaghi and cast by the Ferdinando Marinelli Artistic Foundry of Florence

The blessing of the Holy Door by Pope John Paul II, the work of the contemporary sculptor Luigi Enzo Mattei, dates back to 2001.

Gian Lorenzo Bernini is buried in the family tomb in Santa Maria Maggiore.

Museum of the basilica
In the museum of the basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore is currently preserved the sculptural work that for a long time was considered the oldest crib made with statues. It is an Adoration of the Magi in stone, including the partial figures of the ox and the donkey.

However, a careful observation of the sculptural groups indicates that in reality they are not real statues in the round, but high reliefs carved from blocks of stone, the back of which has visibly remained flat, except for the figure of the kneeling Magician, which appears to have been subsequently completed in the round (i.e. also sculpting the back) by a later author than Arnolfo di Cambio, as happened to the figure of the Virgin and Child, which is not the original sculpted by Arnolfo. The most recent investigations, in fact, have shown that it would have been modified in the Renaissance period, by sculpting and modifying the original figure of the Virgin of Arnolfo.

It was Pope Nicholas IV who in 1288 commissioned Arnolfo di Cambio to make a representation of the "Nativity", which he finished sculpting in stone in 1291. The tradition of this sacred representation dates back to 432 when Pope Sixtus III (432-440) he created in the primitive basilica a "grotto of the Nativity" similar to Bethlehem. The basilica took the name of Santa Maria ad praesepem (from the Latin: praesepium = manger). The numerous pilgrims who returned to Rome from the Holy Land brought as a gift precious fragments of the wood of the Sacred Cradle (cunabulum) today kept in the golden reliquary of the Confession.

After a closure in 2017, on 7 March 2022 the visits to the Loggia delle Benedizioni, the Sala dei Papi and the annexed Bernini's Staircase resumed, thanks to new internal staff of the Basilica taken from the Fraternitas del Capitolo, so that the aforementioned environments have become part of a path defined in a new structure of the Museum as a Liberian Museum Center, under the guidance of a new director.

Archaeological excavations
Between 1966 and 1971, to solve humidity problems, an excavation campaign was carried out under the floor of the basilica, conducted exclusively along the side aisles. Removed the underground that filled them, numerous rooms of the second and third century were found, currently in museum and accessible from the museum of the basilica.


The complex, on whose original destination various hypotheses have been made, but nothing that had any bearing on the Liberian basilica, is presumed to be private and therefore not to be identified with the Macellum Liviae, in whose proximity sources attest to the primitive Liberian basilica. It consists of many rooms divided around a large courtyard, at various levels and not easy to interpret, also because they can be ascribed to different periods and variously obliterated by successive walls built at different times. Along the way you will encounter: traces of a small spa, with mosaics and cavities for heating; the exposure of the ancient tiles; well-preserved traces of decorative geometric frescoes; traces of frescoes relating to an agricultural calendar (which are perhaps the best known find of the site); a small semicircular room with niches, remains of frescoes and a floor in opus sectile su suspensura, presumably belonging to the thermal plant.

Pipe organs
In the basilica there are five pipe organs:
the main organ was built in 1955 on commission of Pope Pius XII by the Mascioni firm (opus 720) and replaces an older instrument, built in 1716 by Cesare Catarinozzi which was relocated in the parish of Aliforni (fraction of San Severino Marche, MC) , where it still is. The Mascioni organ is divided into two bodies on the choirs of the transept, on the sides of the presbytery, and has 71 registers on three manuals and a pedal.
The choral organ, located on the floor in the terminal section of the left aisle, is the work of Giuseppe Migliorini and dates back to 1932; it has 7 stops on a single manual and pedal, it is entirely enclosed in an expressive box and is electrically driven.
The organ of the Pauline chapel is located in the right choir of the entrance arm; it was built in 1910 by Natale Balbiani and is pneumatic transmission, with 7 registers on a single manual and pedal.
In the Sistine chapel there is a positive mechanical organ from the Mayer company on the floor, dating back to 1980 and installed in 2017; it has 6 registers on a single manual and pedal.
The organ of the Sforza chapel was built by Anneessens & Ruyssers in 1900 and rebuilt by Francesco Zanin in 2005; it is electrically driven, with 7 registers on a single manual and pedal, and is located in an elevated niche along the right side of the room.

Works already in Santa Maria Maggiore
Masolino da Panicale and Masaccio, Pala Colonna (1423 or 1428), now in various museums.


Archpriests of the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore

Matthew † (1153 - 1166? Died)

Paolo Scolari † (1176-?)

Cardinal Rolando Paparoni † (1187 - 1189? Died)

Cardinal Pietro Capocci † (1225? -?)
Cardinal Ottobono Fieschi † (1259 - 11 July 1276 elected pope)

Cardinal Giacomo Colonna † (1278 - May 10, 1297 resigned)
Cardinal Francesco Napoleone Orsini † (1297 - 1312 died)
Cardinal Giacomo Colonna (for the second time) † (1312 - 14 August 1318 died)
Cardinal Pietro Colonna † (1318 - 14 August 1326 died)
Cardinal Niccolò Capocci † (1351? -?)
Cardinal Pierre Roger de Beaufort † (1368 - 30 December 1370 elected pope)
Cardinal Marino del Giudice † (1383 - 11 January 1386 died)
Cardinal Marino Vulcano † (1385 - 8 August 1394 died)
Cardinal Stefano Palosti de Verayneris † (1390 - 24 April 1396 died)
Cardinal Enrico Minutolo † (1396 - June 17, 1412 died)
Cardinal Rinaldo Brancaccio † (1412 - 27 March 1427 died)
Pseudocardinal Francesco Lando † (October 1427 - December 26, 1427 died)
Cardinal Jean de la Rochetaillée † (January 1428 - March 24, 1437 died)
Cardinal Antonio Casini † (March 1437 - February 4, 1439 died)
Cardinal Giovanni Maria Vitelleschi † (1439 - 2 April 1440 died)
Blessed Cardinal Niccolò Albergati, O. Cart. † (1440 - May 9, 1443 died)
Cardinal Guillaume d'Estouteville, O.S.B. Clun. † (1443 -?)
Cardinal Prospero Colonna † (1462 - 24 March 1463 died)
Cardinal Giuliano della Rovere, O.F.M. † (August 1477 - August 11, 1483 resigned)
Cardinal Rodrigo de Borja y Borja † (1483 - 11 August 1492 elected pope)
Cardinal Giovanni Battista Savelli † (September 1492 - September 18, 1498 died)
Cardinal Giovanni Battista Orsini † (September 1498 - February 22, 1502 died)
Cardinal Giuliano Cesarini † (5 March 1503 - 1 May 1510 died)
Cardinal Pedro Luis de Borja Llançol de Romaní, O.S.Io.Hieros. † (June 1510 - October 4, 1511 died)
Cardinal Francisco de Remolins † (1511 - 5 February 1518 died)
Cardinal Robert Guibé † (4 October 1511 - 9 November 1513 died)
Cardinal Leonardo Grosso della Rovere † (February 1518 - September 17, 1520 died)
Cardinal Andrea della Valle † (1520 - 3 August 1534 died)
Cardinal Paolo Emilio Cesi † (1534 - 5 August 1537 died)
Cardinal Alessandro Farnese the Younger † (1537 - 1543 appointed archpriest of St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican)
Cardinal Giovanni Domenico De Cupis † (1549? - 10 December 1553 died)
Cardinal Guido Ascanio Sforza of Santa Fiora † (1553 - 6 October 1564 died)
Cardinal Carlo Borromeo † (October 1564 - November 3, 1572 resigned)
Cardinal Alessandro Sforza of Santa Fiora † (1573? - 16 May 1581 died)
Cardinal Filippo Boncompagni † (1581 - June 9, 1586 died)
Cardinal Decio Azzolino senior † (June 1586? - October 9, 1587 died)
Cardinal Domenico Pinelli † (October 1587? - August 9, 1611 died)
Cardinal Michelangelo Tonti † (August 1611 - April 21, 1622 died)
Cardinal Giambattista Leni † (April 1622 - November 3, 1627 died)
Cardinal Giovanni Garzia Mellini † (November 1627 - October 2, 1629 died)
Cardinal Francesco Barberini † (resigned October 1629 - 1630)
Cardinal Antonio Barberini, O.B.E. † (1630 - 3 August 1671 died)
Cardinal Giacomo Rospigliosi † (August 1671 - February 2, 1684 died)
Cardinal Felice Rospigliosi † (1686? - died May 9, 1688)
Cardinal Philip Thomas Howard O.P. † (1689 - June 17, 1694 died)
Cardinal Benedetto Pamphilj, O.S.Io.Hieros. † (1 November 1694 - 20 April 1699 appointed archpriest of the Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano)
Cardinal Jacopo Antonio Morigia, B. † (20 April 1699 - 1701 resigned)
Cardinal Pietro Ottoboni † (1702 - 1730 appointed archpriest of the Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano)
Cardinal Lodovico Pico della Mirandola † (July 1730 - August 10, 1743 died)
Cardinal Girolamo Colonna di Sciarra † (1743 - 18 January 1763 died)
Cardinal Marcantonio Colonna † (1763 - December 4, 1793 died)
Cardinal Giovanni Francesco Albani † (1793 - 15 September 1803 died)
Cardinal Antonio Despuig y Dameto † (28 December 1803 - 2 May 1813 died)
Cardinal Giovanni Filippo Gallarati Scotti † (1814 - 6 October 1819 died)
Cardinal Antonio Maria Doria Pamphilj † (10 October 1819 - 31 January 1821 died)
Cardinal Annibale Francesco Clemente Melchiorre Girolamo Nicola della Genga † (10 February 1821 - 28 September 1823 elected pope)
Cardinal Benedetto Naro † (1 January 1824 - 6 October 1832 died)
Cardinal Carlo Odescalchi, S.I. † (1832 - November 21, 1834 resigned)
Cardinal Giuseppe Antonio Sala † (11 December 1838 - 23 June 1839 died)
Cardinal Luigi Del Drago † (29 August 1839 - 18 April 1845 died)
Cardinal Costantino Patrizi Naro † (24 April 1845 - 21 September 1867 appointed archpriest of the Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano)

Cardinal Luigi Amat of San Filippo and Sorso † (1867 - 30 March 1878 died)
Cardinal Gustav Adolf von Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst † (15 July 1878 - 30 October 1896 died)
Cardinal Vincenzo Vannutelli † (December 16, 1896 - July 9, 1930 died)
Cardinal Bonaventura Cerretti † (16 July 1930 - 8 May 1933 died)
Cardinal Angelo Maria Dolci † (May 22, 1933 - September 13, 1939 died)
Cardinal Alessandro Verde † (11 October 1939 - 29 March 1958 died)
Cardinal Carlo Confalonieri † (16 November 1959 - 25 February 1973 retired)
Cardinal Luigi Dadaglio † (15 December 1986 - 22 August 1990 died)
Cardinal Ugo Poletti † (17 January 1991 - 25 February 1997 died)
Cardinal Carlo Furno † (29 September 1997 - 27 May 2004 retired)
Cardinal Bernard Francis Law † (May 27, 2004 - November 21, 2011 retired)
Cardinal Santos Abril y Castelló (21 November 2011 - 28 December 2016 retired)
Cardinal Stanisław Ryłko, since 28 December 2016

It can be reached from the Napoleon III stop of tram 5
It can be reached from the Napoleon III stop of tram 14