Friday, October 13, 2006

Santissime Nome di Maria al Foro Traiano

Santissimo Nome di Maria al Foro Traiano

This photo of the Santissime Nome di Maria al Foro Traiano is part of one of the panoramic images found on the Tour of Rome. There are over 100 images taken from around Rome linked to an interactive map.

SS Nome di Maria is a little church next to Trajan’s Forum and makes a good place to cool off when it is hot outside. It is also good to spend some time away from the crowds and bustle in the area which, being right over the road from the Roman Forum, can be quite intense. In fact, many guide books do not mention it so it can be really quiet inside.

The current church was built over the site of an older one belonging to the Compagnia di S. Bernardo order. The new building passed into the hands of Compagnia del S.S. Nome di Maria and it is fairly easy to find next to the church of S Maria di Loreto. The feast of the Holy Name of Mary is celebrated here, being introduced by Pope Innocent XI (1676-1689) to mark the victory over the Turks at Vienna in 1683. When it was realized that the Compagnia del S.S. Nome di Maria needed more room, the older church of Bernardo was sacrificed to make room for the new building.

The current building dates from about 1740, in baroque style with an elliptical interior housing seven chapels. The interior is richly decorated with stuccowork, marble and medallions showing scenes of Mary. Above the high altar in a Gloria hangs an image of the Blessed Virgin. This was moved here from the Oratory of San Lorenzo in Laterano. Origianlly given to the Confraternity of St Bernard at the Column of Trajan about 1430, the icon was transferred here in 1741. Once a year, a solemn procession of the icon takes place from the now ruined church of San Bernardo to SS Nome di Maria.

Thanks are due to liciano! for helping to identify this church. A full panoramic image of the inside of SS Nome di Maria is found on the Rome tour by An enlargement of this photo can be found on Flickr.

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