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Church of Santa Maria in Vallicella

This church, whose foundations date back to the time of Saint Gregory the Great at the end of the sixth century, originally held a miraculous image of Our Lady with the Baby Jesus and two angels: the so-called Madonna della Vallicella. There are two miracles attributed to her. In the 14th century the fresco was placed outside public baths, and it started to bleed after being struck by a stone thrown at it - thus becoming an object of devotion. Then in 1535, when the medieval-era church was being demolished, Our Lady performed her second miracle by preventing a number of the faithful attending Mass from being crushed by part of the roof as it caved in.


It was only afterwards in 1574 that the miraculous image was removed and placed above the main altar of the Chiesa Nuova (new church).


The church is particularly linked to the figure of Saint Philip Neri thanks to the Papal bull Copiosus in misericordiae Deus, published on July 15th 1575 by Pope Gregory XIII, who entrusted the church to the Congregation of the Oratory of Saint Philip Neri after their foundation.


In 1873 the building was expropriated and confiscated by the newly established Kingdom of Italy. It was only on June 1st, 1905, that the church was restored to sacred use as a parish church entrusted to the Congregation of the Oratory of Saint Philip Neri, thanks to Pope Pius X and his apostolic constitution Almae Urbis nostrae.