How did his remains get here?
Benedict III was chosen as successor after Pope Leo IV died in 855. The election was not immediately confirmed by the Holy Roman Emperor Louis II the Bavarian, who set up Anastasius the Librarian as Antipope .

Legend says in 855, Pope Benedict III took refuge, here, in the monastery while fleeing from the violence his supporters had initiated in opposition to the Antipope.

Out of gratitude for his safety, Pope Benedict gave the nuns a collection of relics including the remains of St Athanasius of Alexandria and a piece of the True Cross.
Athanasius is also a saint according to the Egyptian Coptic tradition. During a visit to Rome in 1973, Pope Paul VI gave the Coptic Pope Shenouda part of Athanasius’s remains, which were then taken back to Egypt. The relics are now in Saint Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Cairo.

Unlike most Churches in Italy, the relics are not underneath the altar, they are along the wall, together with St. Zacharia’s relics.


2. REMAINS OF ST ZACCARIA (1st century bc)

All that is known of St Zaccaria and his wife, St Elizabeth, is from chapter 1 of the Gospel of Saint Luke.

Zechariah was a priest in the Jerusalem temple. A member of the clan of Abijah (a descendant of Aaron), Zechariah went to the temple to carry out his priestly duties. At the time of Jesus Christ, there were about 7,000 priests in Israel, divided into 24 clans. Each clan served at the temple twice a year, for a week each time.

Luke tells us Zechariah was chosen by lot that morning to offer incense in the Holy Place, the temple's inner chamber where only priests were allowed. As Zechariah was praying, the angel Gabriel appeared and told him that his prayer for a son would be answered.

He said, Zechariah's wife Elizabeth would give birth and they were to name the baby John and this baby would be a great man. Zechariah was doubtful because of his and his wife's old age. The angel struck him deaf and mute because of his lack of faith until the child would be born.

While Elizabeth was in her 6th month of pregnancy, she was visited by her kinswoman Mary. Mary had been told by the angel Gabriel that she would give birth to the Savior, Jesus. When Mary greeted Elizabeth, the baby in Elizabeth's womb leaped for joy.

When her time came, Elizabeth gave birth to a boy. Elizabeth insisted his name be John. When neighbors and relatives made signs to Zechariah about the baby's name, the old priest took a wax writing tablet and wrote, "His name is John."

Immediately Zechariah regained his speech and hearing.



Content Here

1. Signature                   6. St Mark
2. Detail                        7. St Benedictine
3. Detail                        8. Detail
4. St Nicholas                9. Detail
5. St Peter

Tell me about the artist

Tiziano Vecelli or Tiziano Vecellio, was born in the little village Pieve di Cadore, near Belluno. He was the son of Gregorio Vecelli and his wife Lucia. Titian died in a plague epidemic in Venice in August 1576. 

Titian and his brother Francesco were sent to an uncle in Venice to find apprenticeships with a painter. The boys entered the studio of the elderly Gentile Bellini (1429–1507). They later transferred to the studio of his brother Giovanni Bellini (1430–1516). In 1508, Titian worked on commissions together with his friend Giorgione (c 1477–1510).

The large painting The Assumption of the Virgin, also in this church, was the first significant commission for Titian during his career in Venice. Titian broke with the traditions of Venetian painting. 

Titian was soon perceived as the most prominent of all the Renaissance painters in Venice. He became the painter of fashion among the wealthy people.

In 1533, Titian was commissioned to paint a portrait of Emperor Charles V (1500–1558). He was Emperor in Germany and also King of the United Spanish kingdoms. The Emperor was very pleased with the painting and he made Titian a Count Palatine and knight of the Golden Spur. His children were also made nobles of the Empire. For a painter this was an exceptional honour.Titian came to know Charles V personally, and had painted other portraits of him by this time. A highly intelligent man, Titian was quick witted, humorous and easy company. He had developed such a strong friendship with Charles by the time of this portrait that the emperor’s courtiers were uneasy at the extent that a lowly painter was allowed into his confidence.[6] While in Augsburg, Titian was given an apartment close to Charles’ own, and allowed easy access and frequent meetings with the emperor.

In 1543, Titian was commissioned to paint a portrait of Pope Paul III (1468–1549). During the 1550s, Titian also made a portrait of King Philip II of Spain (1527–1598), a son of Karl V.

Titian was a versatile painter. He made landscape backgrounds, mythologi- cal subjects, portraits, and religious subjects. Titian’s artistic manner changed drastically during the course of his long life.

Who Commisioned it?

Commissioned by Jacopo Pesaro family to hang in their family chapel they purchased inside the church.

He is buried on the wall to the left of the painting.

His cousin is buried at the entrance to the sacristy.

His aunt and uncle are buried inside the sacristy where Bellini painting hangs.

One of his nephews  (???? check relationship) was the Doge Giovanni Pesaro Doge: 1589-1658. He has a huge monument to the left of this painting.

Interesting Facts

can see paintings where they hung in their original locations where artist painted them for

Famous people associated with church





What is this About?


In 1518 the Pesaro family bought this chapel in the church. Pesaro family was one of the leading Venetian families.

Jacopo was Bishop of Paphos, in Cyprus, and had been named commander of the papal fleet by the Borgia pope, Alexander VI. 

Titian was commissioned in 1519 by Jacopo.

The painting commemorates Jacopo Pesaro’s win of Battle of St Maura in Ottoman-Venetian wars of 1499-1503. The wars were fought to gain control over a number of islands in the Adriatic, Ionian and Aegean seas. With the Venetians suffering many losses in 1500 Doge Agostino Barbarigo asked the Pope and the Catholic Monarchs for help. On 24 December a Spanish–Venetian army commanded by Gonzalo de Córdoba took Cephalonia (one of the Ionian islands). Benedetto Pesaro (Older relative-maybe uncle of Jacopo) was commander in chief of the Venetian navy sent to help the Spanish. After the vicotory, Cordoba went to Sicily and Benedetto continued on without him.  He later met up with his nephew Jacopo who was commander of the papal fleet and overtook the island of St Maura from the Ottomans in 1502. These were 2 of the rare Venetian victories. The Venetians suffered many losses and were forced to sign a peace treaty in 1503.

Although Pesaro won St Maura int he battle, in 1503 control was given control to the Ottomans.



The Artist


The Bellini family of painters was one of the most influential names in the Italian Renaissance. Jacopo Bellini (1396 – 1470), Giovanni’s father, was a leading painter at the start of the Renaissance. Jacopo’s two sons, Giovanni and Gentile (1429 – 1507), carried on this immense influence, with Giovanni carrying great importance in the Venetian style of painting. Jacopo Bellini was also the teacher of another highly influential Renaissance artist, Andrea Mantegna, (1431 – 1506), who was married into the Bellini family as a brother-in-law of Giovanni.

Where his father solidified the style seen in the Early Renaissance, Giovanni evolved it in his use of atmospheric colors, which came to define the Venetian School. This was an important influence on two of his pupils, the masters, Giorgione (1477 – 1510) and Titian (1485 – 1576)

As Mantegna studied in Jacopo Bellini’s studio, Giovanni absorbed some of his unique style. One of his most cherished works under the influence of Mantegna was the Agony in the Garden, from 1459.

Giovanni Bellini first began painting in Oil when the Sicilian painter Antonello da Messina (1430 – 1479), came to see the work of Bellini. It is said that Messina had a crucial role in introducing Oil painting to the Venetians. With this Bellini’s religious works took on a new life, closer to the vivid, but flowing, colors that became so distinct of the Venetians. Often collaborating with his brother Gentile, Giovanni executed some of his best work in place of Gentile for a commission at the Palazzo Ducale di Venezia, or Doge’s Palace in Venice. Sadly, a great deal of work here was lost to fire in 1577.