The 15th century church of Sant' Agostino is home to one of the most venerated statues in Rome, namely the Madonna del Parto (Madonna of Childbirth, c. 1516) by the sculptor-cum-architect Jacopo Sansovino (1486-1570).
The statue is visited by many of Rome's mothers-to-be, who pray for a safe delivery. In gratitude, they leave blue or pink rosettes.
In 1822 Pope Pius VII (r. 1800-1823) granted an indulgence to those who kissed the foot that protruded from Mary's dress. The response was so great that the marble foot soon had to be replaced by a silver one.
The Latin inscription above the statue reads (in translation): 'Virgin, Childbirth is Your Glory'.
My name is David Lown and I am an art historian from Cambridge, England. Since 2001 I have lived in Italy, where I run private and
small-group walking tours
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