Archconfraternity of Prayer or Death
The church of Santo Sepolcro (Holy Sepulchre) was the seat of the Archconfraternity of the Ss. Crucified and the Prayer, or Death.
The historian Giovanni Spano, said the church "was once of the Templars” , lacking strong evidence, documentary and archaeological evidence, to assert this. Recent studies, however, have established that Bonfant, in his "Triumph of the Saints in Sardinia" (published in 1635), argued that the church would be built on a monastery of the Templars, built on the ruins of a monastery destroyed by the Saracens, dating from the times of Pope Gregory the Great. After the discovery in the Archaeological Site of St. Eulalia of early medieval structures, that might also go back to the days of this great pope, the news of Bonfant is to be evaluated carefully.
The church was owned by the mentioned Archconfraternity, established by bull of Pope Julius II in 1564 and extinct around 1960.
The main statutory purpose of the Archconfraternity was the religious burial of the poor of the city, but it also took care of the burial of its fellow members.
A first crypt was built in the late XVII century, perhaps with the above Chapel of Mercy, reusing a natural cave that may have been the initial seat of the Archconfraternity. Later on, a second crypt was built in the nave and connected with the former one. In the vault of the crypt is the image of Death: according to the cliché XVI-XVIII century, the death has female human form, dressed with an ermine, holding in her right hand a scythe, whose blade brings the Latin motto "Nemini parco", whereas the left holds a winged hourglass.