Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Friday 15 October |
Saint of the Day: St. Teresa of Avila
Aleteia logo
home iconSpirituality
line break icon

Virtually visit the Basilica of San Marcello al Corso and the miraculous crucifix

Kirk Fisher | Shutterstock

Marinella Bandini - published on 03/24/21

Station Church Day 35: It was the only thing that survived the fire of May 22, 1519.

Aleteia invites you to a virtual Lenten pilgrimage through Rome’s 42 station churches: one church per day, from February 17 to April 11.

Day 35

We’re in the Basilica of San Marcello al Corso. Here, Pope Francis prayed a year ago for the end of the pandemic. Kept here is the miraculous crucifix which, in 1522, freed Rome from the plague.


Read more:
Miraculous crucifix from 1522 plague moved to St. Peter’s for pope’s ‘Urbi et Orbi’ blessing

The basilica stands near the site of the martyrdom of Pope Marcellus (4th century), who was condemned to hard labor in the imperial stables until his death. The basilica was rebuilt in the 7th century, and then again in the 16th century after a fire completely destroyed it.

The only thing that survived the fire the night of May 22, 1519, was the 15th-century wooden crucifix, since then venerated as miraculous. Three years later, the plague struck Rome. A solemn penitential procession passed through the streets of the city for 16 days, with the crucifix leading. As the procession passed, the plague receded, until it ceased completely on August 4, 1522, with the procession’s arrival at St. Peter’s.

The crucifix is carried in procession to St. Peter’s during Holy Years and on special occasions, such as the opening of the Second Vatican Council.

During the Jubilee of 2000, John Paul II prayed before this crucifix during the “Day of Forgiveness.” On March 27, 2020, Pope Francis chose to have the crucifix present in St. Peter’s Square for the prayer vigil for the end of the pandemic.

Since 1369, the basilica has been entrusted to the Order of the Servants of Mary, whose seven founding saints are celebrated in the first chapel on the left.

If you continue in my word,you are truly my disciples;and you will know the truth,and the truth will make you free.John 8:31-32

Read more:
Why the pope’s blessing on March 27 is absolutely unique

* In collaboration with the Office for Social Communications of the Vicariate of Rome.


Read more:
“I asked the Lord to stop the epidemic,” says pope about his pilgrimage outside Vatican

Station Churches
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Larry Peterson
This is the only officially recognized Marian apparition in the U...
Philip Kosloski
A scientist describes the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima
Cerith Gardiner
Nightbirde finds inspiration in Joan of Arc
Philip Kosloski
Vatican II’s primary goal, according to St. John XXIII
Cerith Gardiner
Archbishop gives little girl a beautiful response about why God a...
Dolors Massot
Two sisters become nuns at the same time in Spain
Philip Kosloski
Pope Pius XII witnessed the Fatima “miracle of the sun” while wal...
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.