Hidden treasures

The miraculous statue of the Madonna of the Garden in Venice

Unknown places & works

The miraculous statue of the Madonna of the Garden in Venice

In the Cannaregio district, away from the hubbub of the classic tourist destinations, you can find the beautiful Church of St Cristoforo, built during the 14th century as a monastery. In Venice, however, no one ever called it St Cristoforo ...

Nereby lived the sculptor Giovanni de Santi, who, commissioned by the priest of Santa Maria Formosa, had carved a statue of the Virgin Mary, but it was rejected.

The sculptor temporarily put the unfinished stone statue in the garden of his own home. Shortly after, the sculptor's wife noticed that the statue gave off strange glows in the night: the news soon spread throughout the city and the place became a pilgrimage site. Following the occurrence of some miracles and the increase in popular veneration, the authorities encouraged De Santi to move the statue inside his house or inside a church to avoid improper forms of worship.

The artist then sold it to the St Cristoforo School (at the time based in the church), for the large sum of 150 ducats. Hence, on June 18, 1377, the statue was solemnly carried into the church...

In 1414 the Council of the Ten granted the church the official use of the name 'Madonna of the Garden', which was already being used amongst common people.

If you want to visit this beautiful church with Francesca, our official tourist guide of Venice and author of Hidden Treasures, you can send us an inquiry by filling in the following form: Francesca will arrange an itinerary for you, telling you about many other interesting facts on Venice and its monuments!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

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