The church of Santa Francesca Romana, also known as Santa Maria Nova, incorporates an oratory to St Peter and St Paul which was built by Pope Paul I (r. 757-67) in the ruins of the ancient Temple of Venus and Roma.
The church is dedicated to St Francis of Rome (1384-1440). Born Francesca Bussa de' Leoni, she founded the Congregation of Oblates in 1421, and joined it herself after the death of her husband Lorenzo Ponziani in 1436. She was canonised in 1608 and is interred in the crypt of the church.
My name is David Lown and I am an art historian from Cambridge, England. Since 2001 I have lived in Italy, where I run private walking tours of Rome.
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