About Santa Maria del Buon Aiuto nell’ Anfiteatro Castrense (Oratory of St Mary of Good Help):
The church has an interesting history in regards to Pope Sixtus IV (born July 21, 1414, Celle Ligure, Italy
Died: August 12, 1484). An old church and hospice had once stood on this site but fell into ruins. A walk from Saint John Lateran Basilica to the Basilica of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme ran past several hermitages. The story is that the pope was walking between the two basilicas when he was caught in a violent thunderstorm, and took shelter in a little aedicule or sacello dedicated to Our Lady. Pope Sixtus IV rebuilt the church in gratitude to Our Lady answering his prayer here when he was in danger from the lightning, and the madonnella or icon of her in the sacello was transferred to the high altar.
The monastic complex of Santa Croce was taken over by a community of Cistercian monks in 1561. They turned the inside of the amphitheatre into a garden, primarily for growing vegetables and herbs.
Finding The Church of Saint Mary of Good Help in Rome:
It is just a short walk for the Basilica of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem. The only problem you will find is that it is only open one day a year….May 10.
Address: Via Nola, 10, 00182 Roma RM, Italy
Tel: +39 06 701 4769