• Georgiana Tufeanu

Santa Maria dei Miracoli presso San Celso

As I always say, Milan is a city of hidden beauty, a city that demands its visitors to get out there and discover it. I discovered that Milan could still surprise me even after having lived there for years.


When you don’t expect and you are not looking for anything in particular, that’s when you stumble upon new and previously unknown places and that offer an intimate and beautiful experience. It’s like a personal relationship with the city.

One of those places happens to be the church of Santa Maria dei Miracoli, one of the holiest and with the most beautiful backstory in the city. Let me tell you why.

church-facade-with-graden-milan-center
Santa Maria dei Miracoli presso San Celso

We will explore:

  1. Architectural Identity: why you should visit

  2. History

  3. Where to see and pray the miraculous image

  4. When to visit

Architectural Identity: why you should visit


Architectural style: Renaissance, Mannerist

Architects: Gian Giacomo Dolcebuono, Giovanni Battagio


Church-facade-with-statures-renaissance-architecture
Santa Maria dei Milacoli's facade

Interior


Fascinating and magnetic, Santa Maria dei Miracoli is a church like no other. The first impression when you enter the enormous space is that is even bigger than it looks from outside. Have a tour and be surprised by the artistic refinement of the ceiling details

and of the sacred art.


The church is also called the “church of the spouses”. It’s not uncommon for people that

get married there to bring flowers to the Madonna and let them in the left side of the main altar, while asking for her blessing.

If you want to have a virtual tour inside the church on their official website, just press here.


path-with-trees-leading-to-the-basilica
Basilica right next to the church

Exterior


The garden is in the front of Basilica of San Celso, which is basically another smaller church connected to the main one.


It’s much simpler inside, but is definitely worth the visit.


I will let you discover the basilica's interior on your own for a better experience. for the without posting a picture :)


History

details-architecture-santa-maria-dei-miracolis-church-verbum-caro-factum-est
Details of the facade

The church was one of the first church fully build in the Renaissance style in Milan.


So why exactly the church is called Saint Mary of the Miracles?

An actual miracle happened here right before the Christmas of 1485 and it was officially recognized in 1486 by the Curia. But let’s start from the beginning.


The year was 1485. Not an easy year, as the people had to survive recurring plagues and you can only imagine how easy that was in 1485 after we know how “easy” it was for us to cope with Covid.

The churches were thus full of people looking for consolation, hope and perhaps a miracle. The church held an image of the Virgin and the Child only seldom exposed to the public during solemn celebrations.


Around Christmas time during the Holy Mass, when the image was uncovered, Virgin Mary holding baby Jesus, showed up in front of everybody in the church, around 300 people. Shortly after, the plague ceased!

Where to see and pray to the miraculous image

It’s not easy to find. You’ll have to go in front of the altar, and look in the left of it, as lower as your eye can get.

The image, a work of Martino Bassi is somehow underground and you can look at it from there, even kneel to pray on the special place that you’ll notice right in front of it.


Again, I'm not going to post an image here with the miraculous image, as I will leave the beauty of it to surprise you when you visit in person.

When to visit

The church is only open for visit in certain days of the week. In order to plan a perfect visit there, or to participate to the Holy Mass (they have the Ambrosian rite there), check the schedule at the official page here.


Visits to the Sanctuary, with autonomous guide, are possible by prior arrangement and reservations required (send an email to @santamariadeimiracoliesancelso).

Please don't forget to share with your friends and on your social media pages this article if you liked it and let them know about the wonders of Milan! VISIT & REJOICE!

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