above the altar
From: 'St. Peter's Basilica - A Virtual Tour'
The decoration of this central altar was extremely problematic and the
final result is far from satisfactory. In 1822, a mosaic copy of the famous
"Crucifixion of St. Peter" hanging in the Vatican Pinacoteca, a work by
Guido Reni in which Caravaggio's influence on him was strongest, was placed
here as a replacement for an altarpiece by A. Ciampelli showing the above
mentioned saints. This mosaic has, however, recently been moved over the
altar on the left. At the sides of the altar are two round mosaics by
V. Camuccini, representing "St. Simon" and "St. Jude."
From: 'The Mosaics
of Saint Peter's by Frank DiFrederico
This altar at first contained a painting of saints Martial and Valeria
by Giacomo Galli, called "Lo Spadarino." In April 1824 it was
replaced by the mosaic after Domenichino's Ecstasy of St. Francis, which
is now in the Chapel of the Sacrament, and the picture by "Lo Spadarino"
was given to the church of St Caterina della Rota in Rome. It is now in
the Chapter House of St. Peter's. At the end of the nineteenth century,
the altar was rededicated to the saints Martial and Valeria on the insistence
of and through the persistence of the then Bishop of Limoges. A mosaic
representing saints Marital and Valeria remained on the altar until 1963,
when it was replaced by the mosaic after Guido Reni's Crucifixion of Saint
The mosaic of Crucifixion
of Saint Peter was executed by Bartolomeo Tomberli, Domenico Cerasoli,
and Lorenzo Roccheggiani, who received payments for their work from 21
August 1779 to 10 April 1784. The piece was placed in the sacristy in
May 1784; in 1814 it was moved to the altar of saints Simon and Jude in
the center of the left transept. It was displaced from that site to the
right altar in 1963 by the mosaic Saint Joseph Patron of the Universal
Church. The painting by Guido Reni is in the Vatican Picture Gallery.
Lawrence Ruiz (left side)
b.1600 Manila, Philippines
d. 1637 Nagasaki, Japan.
One of the martyrs of Japan. They were beatified by John Paul II in
1981 and canonized in October 1987
(right side of altar)
b. 1789 Cerreto, Italy
d. 7 June 1846
October 1951 by Pius XII