Jubilee Itinerary – Botteghe Oscure

1484722_855057814529489_4550692705040413321_nDue to the unhealthy air that enveloped the “Madonna of Miracles” on the banks of the Tiber river and the ever growing number of those who wished to join the nascent “Company of Father Camillo”, it soon moves from the St. James Hospital to the area behind the Church of St. Stanislaus of the Polish at the Botteghe Oscure. There are only hypotheses about the placement of the new space occupied by the Camillians, since the area was rebuilt several times over the centuries.

The presence of St. Camillus

Camillus and his companions live here from February 1585 to the end of December 1586. One day, all gathered together in the new arrangement, they discuss the name for the newborn Congregation. They think of “Servants of the Infirm”, but, as there already is a religion called “of the Servants”, not to cause confusion, they give up the idea. Camillus then recalling to the members of his Company that in the Holy Gospel it is mentioned the name of “Minister” to imitate Jesus Christ in his holy humility, they decide unanimously to call themselves Ministers of the Infirm. In this period Camillus obtains the support of Cardinal Tiberio Muti, Bishop of Viterbo, for the official recognition of his Order by Sixtus V. From the Pope, who Camillus meets in person after the approval of the Order, he also obtains the permission to use the large red cross on the robe’s chest, which has become a typical sign of recognition of the Order of the Regular Clerks Ministers of the Infirm.

What remains

It is not easy to locate the exact site of this Camillian sacred place, given the radical changes that have occurred in the area. The current building complex adjacent to the Church of the Polish was erected in 1712 on a territory of bought and demolished small houses. Here, then, Father Bernardino Norcino, Camillus’ great friend and support for the creation of his Congregation, dies in the arms of the Saint on August 16, 1585, and he is buried in the Chapel of the Angels at the Church of Jesus. No traces remain, however, of that tomb.

To see

41735838Church of Jesus: ommissioned by Card. Alessandro Farnese, grandson of Paul III. Designed by architect Vignola, to whom succeeded Giacomo della Porta. The church, which overlooks Piazza del Gesù, is considered an important turning point in the history of art, because it was built in the spirit of the decrees of the Council of Trent: it was designed with a single nave, as the attention of believers should be concentrated on the altar and the celebrant. There are several figures of angels painted in the chapels of the Church, especially that of the Vittori: will just this one be the Chapel of the Angels in which Bernardino Norcino was buried? St. Stanislaus of the Polish: church rebuilt in 1580 by Cardinal Stanislaus Osio the Polish. On the high altar there is a painting of Jesus Christ in the air, St. Stanislaus, and down below, St. Hyacinth, work by Antiveduto. The painting of the Crucifix with S. Edvige is by Simone Cekovitz the Polish.


Piazza Venezia: located at the foot of the Capitoline Hill, where some of the most important central streets of the capital cross: Via dei Fori Imperiali, Via del Corso, Via del Plebiscito. It should be noted in particular the Vittoriano, built precisely at the turn of the century, a colossal monument to Vittorio Emanuele II (often erroneously identified with the Altare della Patria, which in reality is only a part of it). On the west side there is the facade of Palazzo Venezia.

Botteghe_Oscure-620x350Largo di Torre Argentina: square situated in the ancient Rome’s Piazza di Campo Marzio, which hosts four Roman temples dating back to the Republic.

Saint Mary in Aracoeli: basilica on the hill of the Capitoline Hill, it was part of the buildings complex of the monastery that had settled on the Capitoline Hill while the rest of the ancient Roman buildings was falling into ruin

From Termini Station take bus n. 40, get off at the Argentina stop and continue on foot (300m).

From Tiburtina Station take metro A, get off at Termini and take bus n. 40, get off at the Argentina stop and continue on foot (300m).

Bus numbers 119, 186, 492, 62, 64, 780, 810, 87, 916F, 46, 571, 628, 70, 81, 87, 916, C3, and get off at the Botteghe Oscure stop. atac.roma.itt