Rome’s Twin Churches – Santa Maria in Montesanto Hosts Cardinals and First Female Vatican Secretary General

Rome’s Twin Churches – Santa Maria in Montesanto Hosts Cardinals and First Female Vatican Secretary General

The ceremony on February 18 at Santa Maria in Montesanto, led by Cardinal Rugambwa and attended by notable figures such as Cardinals Arthur Roche, Luis Antonio Gokim Tagle, and Robert Sarah, marked a significant event in the heart of Rome.

The participation of Sister Raffaella Petrini, the first woman to hold the position of Secretary General of the Governorate of the Vatican City, added a notable dimension to the proceedings.

A Gathering of Ecclesiastical Figures

The presence of priests from the Diocese of Rome and esteemed prelates contributed to the solemnity of the ceremony.

The congregation, which included senior figures like Cardinals Roche, Gokim Tagle, and Sarah, highlighted the importance of the event within the ecclesiastical community.

Santa Maria in Montesanto: An Architectural Gem

Situated in the iconic Piazza del Popolo, Santa Maria in Montesanto stands as one of the “twin” churches, a Baroque masterpiece constructed in the latter part of the 17th century.

Its architectural significance, designed by Carlo Rainaldi and later overseen by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, reflects the rich history of the church.

Historical Evolution and Papal Patronage

The church’s origins trace back to an earlier dedication to the Blessed Virgin Mary under the care of the Carmelite Friars.

The original plan, patronized by Cardinal Girolamo Gastaldi and Pope Alexander VII, saw interruptions but was revived under the supervision of the renowned Gian Lorenzo Bernini.

The subsequent restoration by Pope Leo XII in 1825 elevated it to the status of a minor basilica.

Preserving Legacy and Spiritual Eminence

Santa Maria in Montesanto, with its Baroque allure and historical underpinnings, continues to serve as a spiritual cornerstone.

The recent ceremony, attended by prominent figures and presided over by Cardinal Rugambwa, reflects the ongoing commitment to preserving the spiritual legacy and architectural eminence of this venerable church.