Daily Rome Shot 240

Photo by The Great Roman™


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in SESSIUNCULA and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Rich Leonardi says:

    From Frank Korn’s A Catholic’s Guide to Rome, which he wrote for the year 2000 jubilee:

    “There are also hundreds of Madonelle, statuettes of the Madonna, in niches on the fronts of buildings — especially corner buildings. Some are simple and unadorned, others ornamental — yet always tasteful. The best of these date from the Baroque period when they were decorated with stucco and wrought iron. This practice goes back to medieval times. The local Madonella was a neighborhood’s way of invoking the blessing and protection of the Virgin Mary. When the Angelus bells ran out at eventide, votive oil lamps were placed before these miniature shrines. These lamps helped to light Rome’s streets in the days before public electric illumination. As late as the end of the eighteenth century, more than two thousand of these Madonelle graced the office buildings and apartment houses of Rome. Some fifteen hundred have survived to our time, as a walk through the city, particularly the old districts, will reveal.”

  2. VForr says:

    Thanks for sharing, Rich. I added this book to my list read. I find these shrines fascinating wherever they may be.

  3. Rich Leonardi says:

    You’re welcome, VForr. We were so taken by them that we bought a madonella for our kitchen; it sits above the main archway. (I don’t believe we can post pictures in these comment boxes or I would.) And thank you, Fr. Z, for linking to the book. It is excellent, and IMHO it’s a tossup between Korn’s book and Blue Guide’s “A Pilgrim’s Rome” for best overall guide. The nice thing about the latter is that the Kindle version is very well formatted to allow you to flip through it on your phone as you stroll through Rome’s streets. Happy Sunday.

Comments are closed.