The San Sepolcro Church was seat of the Archconfraternity of Death and Prayer (mortis et orationis) founded in Rome (1536). Around it were once scattered clods of dirt originating from Christ’s burial ground Golgotha or Mount Calvary and since then the surroundings served to bury the poor, the abandoned and those sentenced to death. The barrel-shaped small church was build on top of a Paleo-Christian baptismal font dating back to the fourth century and the site of worship was probably even older as witnessed by some artefacts from the first and second century.
The church gives shelter to the black Christ, a wooden crucifix that was burned 40 years ago by a vandal when it was still in a church belonging to my neighborhood Genneruxi. However, most famous is its grand baroque altarpiece that contains a wooden pietà statue, once buried near the Sant’Antonio hospital and found by a playing child in 1606, holding Christ apparently removed from the blue cross above, descending the little ladders adjacent. The altar is found in a chapel that is larger than the church and was built by order of viceroy Lopez de Ajala in 1686, thanking for the recovery of his daughter Abelanna.