Summary


The Basilica of St. Mary of the Altar of Heaven is a basilica in Rome, located on the highest summit of the Campidoglio. It is still the designated Church of the city council of Rome, which uses the ancient title of Senatus Populusque Romanus.

The shrine is known for housing relics belonging to Saint Helena, mother of Emperor Constantine and various minor relics from the Holy Sepulchre

John Evelyn describes the Basilica:

“Returning home by Ara Coeli, we mounted to it by more than 100 marble steps, not in devotion, as I observed some to do on their bare knees, but to see those two famous statues of Constantine, in white marble, placed there out of his baths. In this church is a Madonna, reported to be painted by St. Luke, and a column, on which we saw the print of a foot, which they affirm to have been that of the Angel, seen on the Castle of St. Angelo. Here the feast of our Blessed Savior’s nativity being yearly celebrated with divers pageants, they began to make the preparation.”

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Sources

  • Diary