Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition
The Flight of the Earls (Author: Tadhg Ó Cianáin)

section 116

On the fifteenth of the same month, the day of the first feast of Mary, Ó Néill went to another famous church which is named Sancta Maria in Trastevere. There was a splendid, meritorious pilgrimage in that church, together with an indulgence for all sins. That edifice was a meeting-place and house of assembly for the Roman Senate during a very long period of time. In the end they determined to give it up as a residence and home to indigent, retired officers and to old soldiers who had outlived the days of vigour and strength. These held it for a long time. On the night that Christ was born, that is, the night of great Christmas exactly, a deep spring of oil sprung and leaped miraculously and wonderfully out of that church. It was streaming and flowing like a great river for the space of a day and a night, and went out into the middle of the river Tiber. When Callistus I the sixteenth Pope after Peter, heard of it, he built a splendid chapel above the spring, and he dedicated it in the name of the Holy Virgin Mary. Were it not that the house of Loreto alone had been for a long time previously chosen and consecrated in the name of Mary and her Son, this would have been the first church which was dedicated in honour of Mary in the whole of Christendom. The year of the Lord at that time was two hundred and twenty. When Gregory III was Pope in Rome, this church was enlarged by him, so that it is a great, splendid, meritorious church. The year of the Lord at that time was seven hundred and twenty. The tombs and burial place of four Popes are in it namely, Callistus,


Innocent, and Julius. The body of Quirinus the bishop, and a very great number, besides, of relics of saints and holy men, are in that same beautiful church.