|Santa Maria de Monserrato degli Spagnoli|
|English name:||Our Lady of Montserrat of the Spaniards|
|Type:||Titular church National church|
|Titular church||Cardinal Vallejo O.F.M.|
|Address:|| Via de Monserrato/|
Via Giulia 151
|Phone:||06 68 89 651|
Santa Maria de Monserrato degli Spagnoli church dedicated to Our Lady of Montserrat, named after the Spanish shrine of the Blessed Virgin. Picture of the church at Wikimedia Commons.
The image of the Black Virgin, which appeared in the mountains near Barcelona, is very popular in Spain. The church was built on the site of a house bought by Pope Innocent VI (1352-1362) as a hospice for Catalan pilgrims. Construction started in 1518, led by Antonio Sangallo the Younger, on orders from Pope Alexander VI (1492-1503). Because of political conflicts between Rome and Spain, and because the Borgia Alexander VI was hugely unpopular, the church was not completed until more than a century later.
St Ignatius of Loyola hung up his sword at the shrine of Our Lady of Montserrat in Catalonia, and he preached and catechized in this church.
The church was made a cardinalitial title on 21 October 2003. The first titular is Cardinal Carlos Amigo Vallejo O.F.M., created cardinal on the same day.
Above the door is a shrine of Our Lady sitting among rocky crags (the meaning of Montserrat being "jagged mountain"). The Divine Child cuts at the crags with a hacksaw.
Many of the works of art were moved here from Nostra Signora del Sacro Cuore when that church ceased to function as the Spanish national church in the 17th century.
The second chapel on the left contains a painting of the same motif as the shrine above the door. It also has a reproduction of the Madonna.
The painting of San Diodeo de Alcalà is by Annibale Caracci.
A statue of St James is by Jacopo Sansovino.
The church has been closed to the public for some time. To visit it, apply in writing to "S Maria di Monserrato, Via di Monserrato, Roma" - preferably in Italian or Spanish, but English should work as well.
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