Santa Maria in Via
Santa Maria in Via is a basilica church in Rome. The church or a chapel existed in the 9th century, but was rebuilt following reports of a miracle. In 1165, it is recorded as Santa Maria in Via, whose appellative means "on the Way", with a reference to the close by Via Flaminia.
On the site there was the house of Cardinal Pietro Capocci, with a well in the stables. On the night of 26 September 1256, the well overflowed. A picture of Our Lady was floating on the waters, which disappeared as soon as the picture was taken. Pope Alexander IV declared it a miracle, and ordered the construction of a chapel on its place; in the chapel (the first on the right of the current church) there is still the well of the miracle.
Pope Innocent VIII ordered the construction of the current church, which was built in 1491-1513. Renovations were performed under Francesco da Volterra and later by Carlo Lombardi. The façade and portico were designed by Pietro da Cortona (1660). The main altar was decorated by Santi Ghetti. The works were completed under Cardinal Saint Robert Bellarmine, titular of the church, in 1604.
The Titulus S. Mariae in Via was instituted by Pope Julius III in 1551. The first Cardinal Priest was Giulio della Cornea; among the others, Saint Robert Bellarmine and Stefano Pignatelli. Cardinal Priest was Antonio José González Zumárraga from Ecuador. The current Cardinal-Priest is Raúl Eduardo Vela Chiriboga from Ecuador. The church serves as a national church in Rome for the ecuadorian community.
- "Santa Maria in Via", by Chris Nyborg.