Santa Maria dei Miracoli Church
The Church of Santa Maria dei Miracoli is located in Piazza del Popolo above the remains of two prior, pyramidal funerary monuments dating back to the Augustan Age.
The same remains can be found in the nearby Church of Santa Maria in Montesanto, which is located on the other side of the square. Given their location and their very similar layout, the two churches are commonly known as “twins”. As the two churches, the two funerary monuments had the purpose to symbolize a monumental entrance to Campo Marzio, and to define the so-called “trident” of streets of Via del Babuino, Via del Corso and Via di Ripetta, which all depart from Piazza del Popolo.
|Credits: Photo by Mstyslav Chernov / CC BY-SA 3.0|
|Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday 7.00 am 12.30 pm / 4.00 pm - 7.30pm|
|Mass Times: Weekdays: 7.30 pm - 12.00 pm (noon) - 7.00 pm; Holidays: 10.30 am - 11.30 am - 12.30 pm - 7.00 pm;|
|Location: Via del Corso, 528 near Piazza del Popolo|
|Tickets: Not Needed|
Origin of the Church
The Church of Santa Maria dei Miracoli, which is commonly known simply as Santa Maria dei Miracoli, was built in 1675. However it was consecrated and open to the public only years later in 1681. The Church was commissioned by Pope Alexander VII, a sacred place where to keep and celebrate the duplicate image of the Madonna dei Miracoli.
The Legend of Madonna dei Miracoli
According to tradition, the paint of Madonna dei Miracoli originates from a miracle. On June 20th 1325 a woman prayed to an image of Virgin Mary painted on the walls that run along the river banks to save her child who was drowning in the waters of the Tiber River. Her son was saved, and following the miraculous event, a little Chapel was built to honor Virgin Mary.
The image that appeared on the walls was brought inside the chapel and from that time on it was called “Madonna dei Miracoli” .
Since the chapel has been frequently hit by floods of the Tiber River, the original image was moved to the Church of San Giacomo in Augusta, and replaced with a duplicate.
Starting from 1916 the Church is officiated by the Congregation of the Sacred Heart of Jesus of Betharram.
Structure of Santa Maria dei Miracoli
The structure of Santa Maria dei Miracoli, with its circular plan and elegant octagonal dome covered with slate shingles, was designed and carried out by architect Carlo Fontana, who also followed the works for the interior of the Church with the help of Carlo Rinaldi.
On the inside, the Church of Santa Maria dei Miracoli features four lateral chapels. The Chapel dedicated to St. Anton shows the funerary monument dedicated to Antonio D’Este, disciple and friend of Antonio Canova; inside the Chapel of St. Joseph, there’s the statue of Madonna of Betharram, a duplicate of Renoir’s work carried out by Gino Mazzini.