March 29

Santa Maria in Ara Coeli, Rome, Italy

The Church of Santa Maria in Ara Coeli (Altar of Heaven) sits on one of Rome's seven hills, the Capitoline or Campidoglio, where the temple of Juno Moneta, goddess of finance, once stood. The story arose that a sibyl there told Caesar Augustus, "Haec est ara filii Dei," "Here is the altar of God's son," prophesying the birth of Christ and the coming of Christianity. By the 500s, Greek monks had built a church there. In the 1200s, Franciscan friars built the present church in honor of the belief that St. Mary, holding the divine Child, appeared to Augustus there. On the high altar is an icon said to be by St. Luke and to have come from Jerusalem, by way of the Chalkoprateia Church of the Theotokos in Constantinople, to Rome in the 400s. The present image is a copy, dated to the late 1000s, closely resembling the ancient Madonna di San Sisto in the Dominican Convent on Monte Mario. It is an icon of the Hagiosoritissa type, showing Mary without child, her hands in an intercessory gesture: the Madonna Avvocata, Our Lady the Advocate. During the plague of 1348, the image was processed through the streets of Rome. The plague ended swiftly, and the great staircase leading to the church was dedicated that same year in thanksgiving. On March 29, 1636, the Madonna d'Aracoeli was solemnly crowned. French troops stole the crown in 1797; it was replaced in 1938. On May 30, 1948, the Roman people were consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary before the icon.   


bullet"Santa Maria in Aracoeli," Churches of Rome Wiki,
bullet"S. Maria in Aracoeli," Basilica Parrocchiale di S. Marco Evangelista, (Church's site)
bullet"Archivio restauri recenti," Istituto Superiore per la Conservazione ed il Restauro,
bullet"Santa Maria in Aracoeli," Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia,
bullet"La Glikophilousa e le sue attivitą," Piccolo Eremo delle Querce, (image)

Also commemorated this date:

bulletVirgen del Pilar, Calanda, Teruel, Aragon, Spain. Miracle of healing, 1640.

Where We Walked ~~~ Mary Ann Daly