San Bernardo della Compagnia

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San Bernardo della Compagnia (also known as San Bernardo a Colonna Trainai, San Bernardi ad Columnam Traiani or San Bernardo della Compagnia al Foro) was a small church in Rome, next to Trajan's Column, dedicated to Saint Bernard and the Virgin Mary.

It was first built in 1418 by Francesco dei Foschi of a noble Roman family, that is to say of the Foschi of Berta, near his house next to the column of Trajan under the pontificate of Martin V. He transferred into it a fraternity of laymen and of priests from the small church of three fountains outside the Porta San Paolo. Annexed to the church in the garden he established a small cemetery for the fraternity and to this he also gave all his rich property in 1440 to use for the church and for the poor. He wanted two days' food to be distributed free to forty poor families every Sunday. These brothers lived in the houses, and on festival days gathered in their church to pray in front an icon of the Virgin, previously in the Oratory of San Lorenzo in Laterano and given to this fraternity c.1430. This icon was transferred to Santissimo Nome di Maria (San Bernardo's replacement) in 1741 and now hang above its high altar. Once a year, it is taken in solemn procession from the site of the now destroyed church of San Bernardo to its present place in the Nome di Maria church. On its case is the inscription: FRANCSICVS DE FUSCIS HUIUS ECCLESIAE ET SOCIETATIS FUNDATOR HIC IACET ANNO MCCCCLXVIII.

The ancient company of s. Bernardo - almost extinguished by the 17th century - was followed by another dedicated to the holy name of Mary originating in the victory of Christian arms against the Turks on 12 September 1683. This association began meeting in the church of santo Stefano del Cacco under the leader of a pious Sabine abbot, Giuseppe Bianchi, in memory of the liberation of Vienna. On 30 September 1694 they left s. Stefano of the Cacco and obtained this ancient church of San Bernardo for their seat, giving that up in turn after finding it too small for their purposes. As a replacement they built Santissimo Nome di Maria and San Bernardo was demolished in 1748.

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