Miracle at San Bartolomeo

May 8, 2013 / Art & Archaeology
Rome, Lazio

bartolomeo1If two of the three miracles required to become Saint must be done while alive, it follows that many of the remaining third (the post-life miracles) of Christianity probably took place in Rome since Saints lived everywhere throughout Christendom, but once dead were often brought to Rome for veneration.

All those (900?) churches in Rome? Each one is dedicated to a different saint and containing either their body or a related relic. Believers coming to Rome throughout the ages would pray in those churches for intercession by those saints …ergo, high concentration of miracle probability simply given the sheer volume of acts of faith in Rome over time.

Just a theory. We haven’t run the exact numbers but… miracles of all types certainly do abound in Rome. One took place in 1849 at San Bartolomeo all’Isola, (lit. “on the Island”). Of course, as one of the 12 apostles Saint Bartholomew had already been saint for quite some time, so this miracle was probably just added to his already long list, many of which for some reason have to do with weight… heavy objects becoming light and vice-versa and such.

This miracle is no exception. During mass one day the church was full of the faithful. The French pro-Papal forces fired yet another cannon fusillade upon the pro-Republican city from the Gianicolo hill about a mile away. (Romans to this day still call cannonballs “Pius 9ths”, after the Pope at the time.) The cannon ball came arcing through the sky right towards the church. But instead of demolishing the church and causing a tragedy inside, the cannon ball sailed through a small window and simply yet miraculously lodged itself in the wall by the altar, visible for all to see to this day.



by GB Bernardini

Editor, Italian Notebook

6 Responses to “Miracle at San Bartolomeo”

  1. brendamarinovich

    That’s what I LOVE about this site and your articles!! We’ve been to Rome a couple of times (once on a pilgrimage) and never heard of San Bartolomeo! Now if I go back I will go there! So interesting.

  2. William Strangio

    An ex-Scandinavian Queen(a recent convert) fire a cannon across Rome. The reason for that was never discussed. However the building she hit is supposed to have the shell on display to
    this day. However she wasn’t exactly saintly!!!

  3. Joan Schmelzle

    I have visited San Bartolomeo in both 2010 and early 2013. I wish I had read this before my visits. Ah well–maybe I took a picture of it. I took so many this last trip, I haven’t done much except enter them and turn them right side up.
    I should let you know that one of your items I asked about a while ago–the naughty lady statue in the Sforza Castle in Milnan–I did manage to find last November when I was there, and, of course, I took a picture.


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