Excerpts from The Basilica of Santi Cosma e Damiano, by Lino Temperini, T.O.R. and translated into English by Seraphin Conley, T.O.R.
The Basilica of Saints Cosmas and Damian is located in the very heart of ancient and modern Rome. It forms part of an imposing archeological complex in the midst of an extensive natural park which recalls so many historical events and memories.
The building was originally a Roman structure - its purpose is not certain, but it belonged to Vespasian’s Forum of Peace, and may have been one of the libraries of that forum.
It was rebuilt and consecrated as a church in the 6th century, probably by Pope Saint Felix IV in 527.
This fascinating setting recalls events and characters of the last 2,500 years, not only those concerning Rome, but of the entire Roman Empire, that is, the whole ancient world.
To ensure a dignified service worthy of a Basilica-Shrine, the Franciscan Friars T.O.R. were appointed to take charge in 1503. In 1512, this appointment was made permanent by a decree of Cardinal Alessandro Farnese, later Pope Paul III.
For centuries, the Basilica and Convent has been the locale for the General Curia of the Third Order Regular of Saint Francis. Presently, there are a number of T.O.R. Friars from various nations in residence here, dedicated to the administration of the Order, to pastoral activity, and to studies.