SANTA MARIA DELLA SALUTE
The above image is a composite of a traditional rendition of the Madonna della Salute or the Madonna of Health and the Basilica in Venice, Santa Maria della Salute erected in her honor. Below you will find a link for viewing the image that ours was based on.
The story of the Basilica and the annual festival of Our Lady of Health is thus:
On November 21
Madonna della Salute holiday is celebrated in Venice to thank The
Blessed Trinity and Our Lady for the miraculous end of the terrible
plague of 1630, the reason the Basilica was built. Between that year
and the following 95,000 Venetians succumbed to the plague. Before the
end of the plague, the city's senate decreed that the Basilica would be
erected and dedicated to Our Lady if the city was saved; their prayers
Baldassare Longhena, was only 26 years old when he accepted the
commission: he died in 1682, just one year after the church's
completion. The Madonna della Salute is built on a platform of more
than 100,000 wooden piles.
About the same time Francesco Morosini brought a painting of a Madonna dating from 1200 which, by decree of the Senate on November 21, 1670, was set on the high altar. The image was processed from San Marco to the Salute, crossing the Grand Canal on a pontoon bridge laid from Santa Maria del Giglio.
From that time on
the Madonna was known as the Madonna della Salute (Our Lady of Good
Health). Since then the votive visit to the church is held annually on
this date; Venetians meet here to
bring lit candles in front of the Madonna image. For this purpose a
bridge of boats is built to connect the opposite sides of the Grand