December 3

Vergine di Montesanto, Rome, Italy

On the Piazza del Popolo in Rome, there used to be a small church run by Carmelite friars, called St. Mary of the Holy Mountain after Mount Carmel in the Holy Land. The church housed a miraculous Madonna and Child, believed to have been painted by an 11-year-old girl with supernatural help. After the painting was canonically crowned on December 3, 1659, Cardinal Gerolamo Gastaldi decided to build the Madonna a more splended sanctuary. It was the work of three great architects. Gian Lorenzo Bernini modified Carlo Rainaldi's original plan to give the building an oval shape more in keeping with its site, and Carlo Fontana supervised its completion in 1679. Around the same time the "twin" church of Santa Maria dei Miracoli was built next door. The painting, hard to date but typical of the late 1400s, occupies a large columned altarpiece with stucco angels by Filippo Carcani. In 1953, Pius XII designated the Basilica di Santa Maria in Montesanto the official church for artists, who still come before the Virgin seeking divine help. See its site, www.chiesadegliartisti.it. (Picture of the Virgin of the Holy Mountain from "Presbiterio," Romainteractive, www.romainteractive.com.)   

Also celebrated this date:

bulletNuestra Señora del Sol, Tarifa, Cádiz, Andalucia, Spain (Our Lady of the Sun). City patron.
 

Where We Walked ~~~ Mary Ann Daly