Sunday, 12 November 2017

Santa Maria dell'Orto


The origin of Santa Maria dell'Orto in Trastevere is based around a miracle. In the 15th century the area in which the church stands was made up of vegetable gardens, indeed fruit and vegetables feature in decorations  throughout the church.






Tradition says that a seriously ill local man had prayed to the image of the Madonna on a wall of a vegetable garden and asked that he might be cured. The image is preserved and can be seen over the main altar.



When he was miraculously healed the inhabitants decided to build a small chapel to celebrate the event which was later enlarged to become the church we see today.



At the time the Port of Ripa Grande, the area in which the church is situated, was full of merchants (called universities) who contributed to the construction of the church. They are remembered in marble slabs set in to the floor.







With no papal or princely patronage this church really was built by shoe makers and poultry sellers.



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