Rome has more than 600 churches.
It is one of the key Marian Churches to see in Rome.
Santa Maria in Traspontina (or Transpontina) is a Carmelite church.
This Carmelite church sits on the site of an ancient Roman pyramid. The travertine exterior was recycled from the Colosseum. Over the entrance, there is an 18th century Madonna. “The Carmelites consider the Blessed Virgin Mary to be a perfect model of the life of prayer and contemplation to which Carmelites aspire, as well as a model of virtue, in the person who was closest in life to Jesus Christ.”
In the Middle Ages, this site was believed to have been the Tomb of Romulus. This event is portrayed on the bronze entrance doors to St Peter’s Basilica and also in a Giotto triptych in the Vatican Museums.
This church was built in 1566 as a replacement for an earlier church that was completely destroyed by cannon fire from Castel Sant’Angelo during the Sack of Rome (1527). The earlier church was demolished during the pontificate of Pius IV (1559-1565) to clear the line of fire for the cannons of the Castel Sant’ Angelo.
This is the only church in Rome whose cupola is without a drum. The reason for this was to not obstruct the gunners of Castel Sant’ Angelo during a crisis so the artillery could exercise shooting on the Gianicolo Hill.
On the third chapel on the left, observe the two columns that are considered to be the columns that St. Peter and St. Paul were bound to before their their martyrdom in the circus of Nero. The third chapel has a “Flagellazion of Saints Peter and Paul” by Ricci.
The main altar has with six Composite columns in red Sicilian jasper and a Baroque baldachin over the venerated Carmelite image of the Virgin. The baldacchino supports an enormous royal crown of wood coated in gilded copper by Carlo Padredio surrounded by four stucco angels holding it on either side by Leonardo Retti, who also did the marble pair below the icon.The main altar was consecrated in 1674 was designed by Carlo Fontana. The statues around the altar are by Alessandro Rondoni, Giacomo Antonio Lavaggi, Vincenzo Felici, and Michel Maille.
The frontal of the actual altar is marble carved to resemble draped cloth and inlaid with semi-precious stones by Giuseppe Marini. The tabernacle is shaped like a globe..
Enshrined in the baldacchino is a Byzantine-style icon of the Madonna, set in a rayed glory with little black putti. It was brought to Rome from the Holy Land in 1216. It was crowned in 1641, but was apparently destroyed during the Roman Republic of 1798. The present icon is a copy.
The feast of Our Lady of Carmel is celebrated on July 16th with a solemn procession, as this is the feast as her role as the patroness of the Carmelite Order. Our Lady of Mount Carmel is the title given to the Blessed Virgin Mary in this role.
Here is a view of Haifa, view from Mt. Carmel,
Mt. Carmel, near the modern port city of Haifa, Israel, is not far from where Christ grew up. This had been a holy mountain long before the birth of Jesus and by the twelfth century it had become a home to Carmelite monastics with a particular devotion to the Virgin Mary as their patroness. By the end of the thirteenth century assorted political and religious strife had caused the Carmelites to depart from Mt. Carmel and travel to Europe. Some Carmelites established monasteries as far north as England.
Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Italy Travel Guides @ www.vino-con-vista.com
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