The church of Sant’Eutizio with the adjoining convent, a complex entrusted to the Passionist Fathers, stands on the immediate outskirts of Soriano and is part of the Parish of St. Paul of the Cross.
Info: Parroccha S. Paolo della Croce (in S. Eutizio)
Via del Convento 18, Loc. S. Eutizio M, snc – 01038 Soriano nel C. (VT)
Tel. 0761/745064 – 320/3184839
Mass hours: Holidays 830 – 10.30 – 16.30; Weekdays 16.30
CHURCH OF SANT'EUTIZIO (Passionisti)
HISTORY AND DESCRIPTION
The church of Sant’Eutizio with the adjoining convent, a complex entrusted to the Passionist Fathers, stands on the immediate outskirts of Soriano and is part of the Parish of St. Paul of the Cross. The sanctuary bears the name of Eutizio, a fervent apostle of Tuscia, born in Ferento, an ancient town in the Viterbo area and martyred under Diocletian (285-305). After the edict of Constantine (313), a basilica was built on the site of the catacombs dedicated to the saint. Some remains of the primitive church, which collapsed in the 15th century and rebuilt in the 15th and 18th centuries, are visible. The current building, dating back to 1740, was commissioned by the Albans, but has undergone numerous alterations over the centuries, one of the most significant in 1959.
The religious complex was initially entrusted to the Benedictine monks of S. Lorenzo fuori le mura, subsequently to the local clergy and finally from 1744 to the Passionist Fathers, led in Soriano by the founder S. Paolo della Croce, who arrived at the request of Cardinals Annibale and Alessandro Albani. The rest of the structure was built by the Passionists, starting from 1784.
On the square adjacent to the church there is a statue with the Virgin Mary, under which the invocation: “Ave Maria” is imprinted.
The outside sanctuary is simple and bare. Flanked by an elegant bell tower, it is characterized by a gabled facade with a wooden portal surmounted by a mullioned window, an element that also recurs on the left side of the building. The rooms of the convent extend alongside the main entrance.
The interior, with an octagonal structure, consists of a single hall. The choir area is interesting, where the high altar is raised above the rest of the church and overlooking the crypt that houses the remains of the saint.
Entering the sanctuary, on the right side of the counter-façade you can see a marble plaque, dating back to 1771, with the following Latin inscription: “D. O. M. / FRANCISCO MARIA FORLANO / HORTANAE ET CASTELLANAE CIVITATIS / PRAESTANTISSIMO PARESULE / ANNUENTE / TEMPLUM HOC SANCTO EUTYCHIO MRI / DICATUM / UBI CORPUS MANDANTE ALEX VI P. M. / REQUIESCIT / III IDUS MAJI MDCCOMUS STRASGXXI /. PASSIONIS D. N. JESU XPTI / SOLEMNI RITU CONSECRAVIT / ET / DEDICATIONIS MEMORIAM X KAL. NOVEMBRIS / QUOTANNIS RECOLENDAM / DECREVIT “. A niche opens below, on which the symbol of the Chigi family appears, bearing an altar placed in support of the wooden statue depicting St. Paul of the Cross (1949). The same wall has a further niche, at the base of which stands a marble altar in which the effigy of St. Paul of the Cross is preserved within a frame also in marble. At the top there is a small wall organ. A door on the right side of the altar leads to the sacristy, here a glass case holds small sacred objects. The central section of the church is divided into two parts: at the bottom some steps lead to the crypt created under the choir, at the top a staircase, which is accessed on two sides and closed by a parapet, gives access to the presbytery, covered by a vaulted ceiling. cruise. On the left of the space reserved for the faithful is the statue of a Madonnina. Three niches open on the other wall of the sanctuary: the third at the back is occupied by an urn containing the image of the Child Jesus and surmounted by a reliquary with sacred objects, similar to the one already mentioned. Continuing, the marble central altar, which stands in the center of the left side, bears the scene of a Holy Family, consisting of the figures of St. Joseph, the Virgin Mary and the Child. Finally, the first niche is precious, where you can admire the statue, of Roman craftsmanship, an example of carved and painted wood dating back to the twentieth century, depicting Saint Eutizio among angels. The counter-façade, on this side, contains a plaque from 1751 with a Latin inscription: “A. PX. [.] / HEIC SITA EST / MARIA BERNARDINA / OCTAVIANI COM. F. ONDEDEA C. F. / UXOR HORATII ALBANI / CLEMENTIS XI PONT. MAX. FRATRIS / MATER / KAROLI PRINCIPIS / PATRUMQUE CARDINALIUM /
HANNIBALIS ET ALEXANDRI / QUAE VIXIT / YEAR S. P. M. LXXXXIIII / DEATH XIII KAL. SAPTEMB. / YEAR M. DCC. LI / HORATIUS KAR. F. ALBANUS / PRINCEPS SORIANENSIUM / ADLECTUS INTER PRIMORES S. I. R. / FECIT / AVIAE RARISSIMAE / BENE MERENTI “. Paying more attention to the raised space of the church, it is necessary to climb a flight of steps, at the base of which, on the right side, there is a baptismal font in polychrome marble. The presbytery is embellished by the splendid marble altar supported by columns and bearing the image of the Agnus Dei. Behind the tabernacle there is a crucifix, from which a medallion with the effigy of Saint Eutizio stands out, recognizable by the symbols of martyrdom. The right arm of the presbyteral space houses two paintings: the one with the Baptism of Christ at the bottom and the other, from the mid-eighteenth century, with the martyrdom of the patron saint of Soriano, at the top in the center. On the opposite side are the images of S. Paolo della Croce and Santa Maria Goretti.
From the raised part of the church you can enjoy a clear overall view of the hall below and the counter-façade.
But now let’s move on to the crypt. The most significant aspect of this room is the altar, under which the sarcophagus of Saint Eutizio from the twentieth century is positioned. Two mosaic medallions depict the martyrs Gratiliano and Felicissima. Also interesting are the wall remains of the building prior to the current one, on one of which you can glimpse a votive fresco dating back to the fourteenth century, showing a man who pierces an ox with a spear, in the background of Soriano. Also noteworthy are two commemorative plaques, one dated 1959 the other 1961. Of greater value is the plate dating back to the end of the fifteenth century, which bears the following inscription: “RELLIQUIAS EUTICII MARTYRIS INER / RUDERA LAPIDEO SCYPIIO REPERTAS / IUBENTE ALEXANDRO UT PONT MAX / HENRICUS EPISCOPUS ORTINUS HEIC / LOCANDAS COERAVIT IDIBUS MAI / MCCCCXCVI “.
A very significant part of the religious complex is the convent, which stands next to the church, where a gallery of paintings welcomes the visitor at the entrance; among the paintings Saint Eutizio between angels and various Passionist Fathers are mentioned. A chapel preserves important sacred objects and works of art, such as: a painting with St. Paul of the Cross between angels, two small pictures with ex voto, various relics (Crucifix, breviary, autographed writings) of the founder St. Paul of the Cross, a altar, a tabernacle, a Madonna Addolorata, a wooden crucifix.
CIOMEI L., S. Eutizio Martire, apostolo della Tuscia, Roma 1960.
CIUCCIARELLI L., Soriano nel Cimino e l’eremo di S. Eutizio, Viterbo 1932.
D’ARCANGELI V., Monumenti archeologici e artistici del territorio di Soriano nel Cimino e delle zone limitrofe, Soriano nel Cimino (Vt) 1967.
D’ARCANGELI V., Soriano nel Cimino nella storia e nell’arte, Viterbo 1981.
DAVID D., Soriano nel Cimino nella storia e nella leggenda, Soriano nel Cimino (Vt) 1947.
RUOPPOLO V., Sant’Eutizio di Ferento, Roma 1996.
Soriano nel Cimino, a cura di Carivit S.p.a., autori D’ARCANGELI V., SANTOCCHI A., Viterbo 1993.
Soriano Turistica, a cura dell’Associazione “Pro-Soriano”, Soriano nel Cimino (Vt) 1970.
TARSETTI BARZELLOTTI M. A., Gioielli dimenticati, in “Tuscia”, anno 1988 n.42, pp. 26-29.
Thanks to the Diocese of Civita Castellana (Vt) for the cataloging cards provided.