Santuario della Consolata

The Santuario della Madonna Consolata (English: The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Consolation) is a Catholic minor basilica and Marian shrine in central Turin, Piedmont, Italy. Located on the intersection of Via Consolata and Via Carlo Ignazio Giulio, the shrine is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary under the title of Our Lady of Consolation.

The Basilica of the Virgin of the Consolation
Santuario della Consolata is located in Turin
Santuario della Consolata
Santuario della Consolata
Map of Turin
45°04′36″N 7°40′45″E / 45.07667°N 7.67917°E / 45.07667; 7.67917
DenominationRoman Catholic Church
Architect(s)Guarino Guarini
Outside view from the West, with domes, portico, column, and belltower.
Altar with icon of the Virgin of the Consolation.

Pope Pius X granted a pontifical coronation towards the venerated icon of Madonna della Consolata on 18 June 1904. The same pontiff raised the shrine to the status of minor basilica by Pontifical Decree on 7 April 1906.



The Benedictine Order were the first monastic order to settle in this location. A church at the site, probably dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, stood adjacent to the ancient Roman walls of the city. It is held that in the 5th century, Bishop Maximus erected a church dedicated to Saint Andrew with a small chapel to the Virgin with an icon. The icon, however, became the object of great veneration.

In 929 AD, Adalbert I of Ivrea ordered the construction of a monastery and endowed it with some territories. The Romanesque bell tower dates to about this time, and was built next to the foundation of one of the corner turrets of the old Roman fort which later became Turin.

Pious legends from the twelfth century claim that a blind traveling pilgrim had his vision restored by the icon during a Marian apparition of the Virgin inside the church. Inside the shrine, ex votos document centuries of miracles attributed to the Virgin.[1]

During the reign of Duke of Savoy, Charles Felix of Sardinia, the Cistercian Oblates dedicated to the Marian icon of this title crowned the image on their own accord on 20 June 1829.

The Marquise of Savona, Delfina Gavotti was a patroness of the shrine in the early turn of 20th century, having appeared in the list of patrons of the shrine literature Missioni Consolata published in August 1901. Accordingly, she procured the Bambino Gesu of Arenzano.

Pope Pius X granted a decree of Pontifical coronation towards the image on 18 June 1904. Its ensemble of twenty-four stars was donated by former Queen of Italy, Margherita of Savoy while the rest of its regalia were donated from the princes of Savoy and noble ladies of Turin. The decree was granted to and executed by the Prefect of the Sacred Congregation of the Index, Cardinal Vincenzo Vannutelli in a public religious event. A grand total of six Cardinals attended the rite of coronation, including Cardinal Giulio Boschi (Ferrara), Giuseppe Callegari (Padua), Alfonso Capecelatro (Capua), Andrea Carlo Ferrari (Milan), and Domenico Svampa (Bologna).

The shrine was bombed by the Royal Air Force of Britain on 13 August 1943.[2]

Pope Francis gifted the Golden Rose to the shrine on occasion of its historical relationship with the Holy Shroud of Turin in 21 June 2015.[3]



The church was originally built in the style of a basilica. Over the years the church and the icon of Our Lady of Consolation were rebuilt respectively restored by various religious orders. In 1448 the prior of Sant'Andrea expanded the church building one bay to the west. With the increased popularity of devotion to Our Lady of Consolation, the church changed from a parish to a shrine.[2]

The first major reconstruction leading to the present church was commissioned in 1678 by Marie Jeanne Baptiste of Savoy-Nemours.[4] Architect Guarino Guarini and engineer Antonio Bertola created the elliptical shape of the church nave, and added a new hexagonal chapel on the north side to accommodate the venerated icon of Mary.[2]

East–west axis of main altar

The architect Filippo Juvarra in 1729—1740 added the North presbytery, thus creating a church with two apparent axis: a main altar on the east, while retaining the famed icon as a chapel to the north. This period also saw the decoration of the dome by Giovanni Battista Crosato.[5]

1852 engraving of La Consolata

The neoclassical facade, portico, and burial crypt on the south–north axis date from 1845 to 1860 with contributions by Pietro Anselmetti; further additions were made in 1899—1904 under the guidance of Carlo Ceppi.

The interior has a jubilantly polychrome rococo decoration with colored marbles and solomonic columns. The Juvarra altar has two marble angels in adoration by Carlo Antonio Tantardini. The interior has a sculpture of two praying queens by Vincenzo Vela. Outside the church is a statue of a virgin and child on a column.

The church serves as a burial place for a number of saints affiliated with Turin: Giuseppe Cafasso and Leonardo Murialdo, as well as the Blessed Giuseppe Allamano, rector (1880—1926) and founder of the Mission Institute of the Consolata. Every June 20, a procession of the icon of the Virgin takes place in the streets of the city.[6][7]

The church is an eclectic collection of architecture, and includes portions of an ancient Roman wall, a Romanesque bell-tower, a baroque set of domes, almost Byzantine, sheltering a gothic icon, with two porticos, one of which has Neoclassic severity. The clashing of Guarini's and Juvarra's often mathematical architecture with the highly decorated interior, stubbornly magnetic to a ritualistic popular piety, leads to a modern synthesis with immanent overtones.


  1. ^ Storia del Santuario della Consolata, by Giacinto Marietti, Turin (1845).
  2. ^ a b c "Santuario della Consolata", Museo Torino
  3. ^ "La campana torna al suo posto, alla Consolata la festa è completa". La Stampa (in Italian). 2017-06-20. Retrieved 2022-01-16.
  4. ^ Frézet, Jean (1827). Histoire de la Maison de Savoie 2. Alliana et Paravia
  5. ^ "Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation", Citta e Cattedrali
  6. ^ Santuario de la Consolata Archived 2014-01-17 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Official website of the sanctuary