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The Catacombs
of St. Callixtus in Rome

They were the official cemetery of the Church of Rome in the 3rd century AD. Around half a million Christians were buried here, among them many martyrs and 16 popes.
They are named after the deacon St. Callixtus who, at the beginning of the 3rd century AD, was assigned by Pope Zephyrinus to the administration of the cemetery.
Since 1930 they have been entrusted to the custody of the Salesians of Don Bosco.

Origins

The Christians of Rome began to excavate their own community cemeteries (known today as ‘catacombs’) at the beginning of the second half of the 2nd century AD, when a few wealthy families, having been converted to the Christian faith, donated their lands to the Church.

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Symbology

The first Christians loved to greatly express their own faith through symbols, because it was both possible ‘to say’ many things with a symbol, and because the images were easily understood even to the illiterate. Among the symbols most used in the catacombs we find...

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