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Santa Maria Maggiore: Icon of Mary, Health of the Roman People

Icon of Mary, Health of the Roman People

The Pauline chapel is sumptuously decorated and houses the tombs of Pope Paul V (1552-1621) and his immediate predecessor Clement VIII. It is also home to the famous icon of the Virgin Mary known as Salus Populi Romani, "Health of the Roman People." The name derives from a miracle in which the icon helped keep plague from the city. Legend claims that it was painted from life by St. Luke the Evangelist, but most scholars date it to the 13th century.

Credit: / Sacred Destinations