The Santa Maria delle Grazie Church in Pistoia was built in response to the miraculous recovery of a young girl in a nearby hospital. The girl’s bed can still be seen in the church.
Santa Maria delle Grazie Church Pistoia
The address of the Chiesa di Santa Maria delle Grazie del Letto is Piazza San Lorenzo, Pistoia. Tel: +39 057323129. Opening hours: 07.30 to 12.00. Entrance fee: Free.
History and description
The history of the Santa Maria delle Grazie Church begins, as it often does with Italian churches, with a miracle. In 1336, a young girl admitted to the San Donnino o San Lorenzo Hospital was cured through an intervention of the Madonna, upon which a painter, called the “Maestro of 1336”, painted an image of the Virgin and Child, exactly as she had appeared to the sick girl, on the wall.
After this miracle, the hospital’s auditorium was converted into an oratory, and a century later it was turned into a church dedicated to Santa Maria delle Grazie.
The church is also called the Chiesa del Letto (“Church of the Bed”), since the bed in which the sick girl slept is still preserved there.
The original architect is unknown, but it is assumed that Ventura Vitoni was in charge by the time the construction was completed.
In 1526 the adjoining convent was given over to the Agostinian nuns. When monastic orders were banned, the convent was incorporated into the nearby Ospedale del Ceppo.
The interior consists of a single nave. The ceiling dates from the 16th century. There are multiple 16th century paintings on display.
What to see
In the first chapel on the left you can see the famous bed in which the girl slept while being cured.
The effigy of the “Madonna and Child” is located near the main altar.
In 1935 three anatomists who had been attached to the Scuola Medico Chirurgica of Pistoia were interred in a single tomb in the church.