Today we visit Saint Nicholas in Prison. No, Santa Claus was not imprisoned here. But this church, dedicated to Saint Nicholas of Myra, is traditionally thought to have been built over the site of an ancient prison.
A story states that a woman was incarcerated here and condemned to die of starvation. She was kept alive by her daughter’s milk. When the church was established, it was dedicated to Saint Nicholas, patron saint of prisoners.
The church stands near the site of an ancient vegetable market, the Forum Holitorium. It is thought that this church was built using the ruins of the ancient Temple of Piety, which dates back to 165 B.C.
Inside the church is a reproduction of the miraculous painting of Our Lady of Guadalupe. It was sent here from Mexico in 1773.
Below the altar, an urn contains the relics of the martyrs Marcellinius, Faustinius, Simplicius and Beatrice. The relics of Saint Nicholas are kept in Bari, are the East coast of Italy.