DEACONRY AND BASILICA OF SANTA MARIA ANTIQUA
The Most Holy Patriarchal Basilica of Santa Maria Antiqua was likely established around A.D. 600 by Pope St. Gregory I the Great (590-604). The church itself stands in the Roman Forum and was restored several times. Pope John VII used the basilica in the early 8th century as See of the bishop of Rome. The basilica was partially destroyed in the year 847, when an earthquake caused parts of the imperial palaces to collapse. Because of the damage, a new church called Santa Maria Nova was built that later was not under direct Papal jurisdiction. Santa Maria Antiqua suffered further damages during the Norman Sack of Rome in 1084. The basilica serves as the principle church of the Archfather, who also holds the title of Cardinal Deacon of Santa Maria Antiqua in camera persona immediately upon election (MP 2011; CJCP 5).
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