Santa Maria dell'Orto

The holiday of Santa Maria dell’Orto is celebrated on third Sunday of October.
In the occasion the church is adorned by fruit and vegetables and, at the end of the Mass, apples are consecrated and distributed to person. According to an ancient usage each brother, at the end of the Sunday meal, divides one of them between all the components of the family.




A narrow relationship between the Madonna and the music is the consequence of a miracle of the Virgin that happened in 1585 when the first Japanese embassy was visiting Rome. Gregorio XIII - tells Bombelli – “wanted to contribute to the amusement of those gentlemen who made a trip to the sea. The Pope sent to them the musicians of the palace." Many boats were prepared in the Tiber with rich sails, flags and flames ". The boats of the musicians let be carried by the current, but gone out in open sea "while they began the harmonies, a furious storm threatens them; broken trees, torn sails, broken rudders". In that reef the musicians remembered Santa Maria dell’Orto to whom they had turned a short prayer passing in front of his church (it is to be noticed that on that time the church was possibly to seen from theTiber since the massive hospice of St.Michael had not been still built) and immediately "the wind stopped, the waves were appeased, it returned the calm". Since then and for many years, the palace musicians, on June 8 anniversary of the fact, came to Santa Maria dell’Orto to sing solemn mass in memory of the received grace.

Another miraculous event occurred in 1625: the Miracle of Mary Ward. Mary Ward (1585-1645), english person, was the founder of the Institute of Blessed Virgin Mary, female religious order whose rule is inspired from Jesuits and that generally is more well-known as “English Ladies”. The Ward stayed in Rome in three different periods; the first one was in 1625, year of the Jubilee. In that occasion Mary visited several churches, but she had a particular predilection Santa Maria dell’Orto: between 6 and 19 April of 1625, she spent whole hours in front the St. Sacrament shown in our church. The chronicles inform us that “the day 11, knelt in front the high altar, felt herself completely immersed in the love of God. Resting only in Him, she saw clearly that she was absolutely null and God is completely. The ecstasy lasted several hours”. It is also specified than the St. Sacrament itself spreaded out a bundle of light of exceptional intensity whose brilliance concentrated on Mary's face, depriving her of the sight for different hours after the Adoration. In 1930, under the papacy of Pius XI the beatification process has begun, still in course.

Santa Maria dell'OrtoWhen it was still very used the liturgical practice of the exhibition of the St. Sacrament in shape of Quarantore, in many churches a special called structure was organised called "machine", destined to do adorned support of candles and illuminations. From Luigi Huetter, we learn that "… in nineteenth century the "Machine" of Santa Maria dell’Orto in Trastevere excels; triumph of turn kind leafy and flowered which go up gradually pushing their severe spirals over the high solemn altar". The "Machine" was tenderly and proudly getting on by the "brothers". Still today the ceremony take place the evening of the "Holy Thursday", with the lighting of all 213 candles that give to the sacred place an unforgettable suggestion.

An ancient pity tradition is revived instead on the seashore of the Tiber thanks to the Archbrotherhood, in the spirit of recovering the ancient Roman religious tradition. In Rome, in 1776, the Brotherhood called "Sacconi Rossi" (red big bags) , due to the suit, was instituted in the Tiberine Island. The complete name was imore complex: Brotherhood of Jesus' Worshippers to the Ordeal and of St. Mary in relief of the holy Souls of the Purgatory. Between the works of pity of the society it was the recovering of the corpses of those who were perishing in the river and the celebration of mass in suffrage of them.

For the events of the time the initiative stopped, but in 1983 it has had new impulse for merit of the Archbrotherhood of Santa Maria dell’Orto. Since then, on November 2 of each year a mass is celebrated in the Church of St. John Calibita, officiated by the fathers of hospital order of St. John of God well-known as "Fatebenefratelli". It follow a striking procession with the alight torches long the shores of the Island in order to throw in the Tiber a crown of flowers accompanied by the prayers for the deads. The ceremony ends with Sacconi Rossi and brothers of Santa Maria dell’Orto joined in prayer with a great number of followers in a mass of suffrage.

In the last years the tradition of the Brotherhood of Sacconi Rossi has been picked up by the religious and hospital Community of Fatebenefratelli of the near hospital of St. John Calibita.

Santa Maria dell'Orto

February 2 (*) : Mass of Candlemas.

Ash Wednesday: Mass 5:00 PM

Maundy Thursday: Mass 5:00PM - preparation and ignition of the old "Machine of Forty Hours." The church remains open to the faithful until 24:00.

June 8 (*): see the feast

Third Sunday of October: feast of Santa Maria dell'Orto – Mass at 11 AM at the end of which is the traditional distribution of apples blessed in memory of the great devotion of the University of Fruttaroli. In this Occasion is remembered the miracle performed by St. Mary in 1585 in favor of the first Christian embassy from Japan. The ceremony was presided by a Cardinal, also involved the Japanese Ambassador to the Holy See. For decades, the miracle was recalled on June 8, but then was joined to the feast to give it greater solemnity.

November 2: Our association in 1983, picking up the legacy of the "Sacconi Rossi" long extinct, restored the pious devotion to commemorate all those have fallen into the Tiber, more recently extended to all dead still nameless deaths due to natural disasters,wars, etc.. 
After the reconstitution of "Sacconi Rossi" due to the order o
f Fatebenefratelli Hospital, a mass is celebrated at the dusk in their church of St. John Calibita which follows a procession with the alight torches long the shores of the Island guided by our Confraternity in order to throw in the Tiber a crown of flowers accompanied by the prayers for the deads.

November 23: Mass 11AM for the Cultural Association called "Group of the Romans", known forum that brings together scholars and most eminent academics in terms of multidisciplinary studies on the city of Rome.

Last Sunday of November: Mass 11AM in memory of the souls of the deads Pizzicaroli and food retailers in general.