Formia © Antonio Casti

The Church of Sant’Erasmo of Formia

The first church of Sant’Erasmo has an ancient history. During the early years of Christianity, bishop Erasmus was captured during the persecutions of the Emperor Diocletian.  He was subsequently tortured and disembowelled in Formia in the year 303 AD and became a martyr. The original church was constructed in the 4th century, on the site of the martyr’s burial tomb.  Initially a tomb was built to preserve the relics of the saint and other martyrs and bishops were buried alongside his grave. Over the centuries In 604 the church underwent renovations and amplifications, during the time of Gregory the Great. During the 11th and 12th centuries the structure was renewed in a Romanesque form. In 1532 the building was severely damaged during attacks by the Turks.

The Church Exterior

The present structure of the church was built in the mid 1500’s on what was left of the original structure. To the right of the church stands the 16th century chapel of San Probo. The entrance to the church has a portico with three arches.
Church of St Erasmus in Formia Italy
Church of Sant'Erasmo in Formia Italy
Churches of St Erasmo and San Probo in Formia Italy
Portico of the Church of Sant'Erasmo in Formia Italy
Portico of the Church of St Erasmus in Formia Italy
Column and Crucifix outside the Church of Sant'Erasmo in Formia Italy
Church of San Probo in Formia Italy

The Church Interior

Inside the church has three naves and is of a Renaissance style. The ornate marble altar dates from the 18th century  and there is the ancient wooden statue of Saint Erasmo. It houses several interesting paintings including one depicting the Madaonna della Noce, originally from the small rural church of the same name.

Church of Sant'Erasmo in Formia Italy
Interior of the Church of St Erasmo in Formia Italy
Interior of the Church of Sant'Erasmo in Formia Italy
Interior of Church of Sant'Erasmo in Formia Italy
Marble Side Altar in the Church of Sant'Erasmo in Formia Italy
Statue in the Church of Sant'Erasmo in Formia Italy
Painting Santa Maria della Noce in the Church of Sant'Erasmo in Formia Italy
Painting in the Church of Sant'Erasmo in Formia Italy
St Erasmus Martyr and Patron of Formia in Italy
Angel in Church of St Erasmo in Formia Italy
Memorial in the Church of Sant'Erasmo in Formia Italy
Memorial in the Church of Sant'Erasmo in Formia Italy
Plaque in the Church of Sant'Erasmo in Formia Italy
Statue Church of St Erasmus in Formia Italy
Statue in the Church of Sant'Erasmo in Formia Italy
Stained Glass Window Church of St Erasmus in Formia Italy

The Crypt

Under the presbytery is the crypt, on the site of the early Christian burial ground. It is decorated with ancient frescoes.

Crypt of the Church of Sant'Erasmo in Formia Italy
Crypt of the Church of Sant'Erasmo in Formia Italy
Crypt of the Church of Sant'Erasmo in Formia Italy
Crypt of the Church of St Erasmo in Formia Italy
Crypt of the Church of St Erasmo in Formia Italy
Crypt of the Church of Sant'Erasmo in Formia Italy
Fresco in the Church of St Erasmo in Formia Italy

Photos of Some Archaeological Details

Doorway of the Church of St Erasmo in Formia Italy
Old Door Church of St Erasmus in Formia Italy
Stone Carving Church of Saint Erasmus Patron of Formia Italy
Saint Erasmus of Formia Italy
Old Door of the Church of St Erasmus in Formia Italy
Old Door of the Church of St Erasmus in Formia Italy
Old Door of the Church of St Erasmus in Formia Italy