Tuesday of Week V of Lent
The first chapel was built at the present site of Basilica of St. Mary in Via Lata in the 5th century, with the upper church built over it in the 9th century. The present basilica was built in 1491, with the façade and portico finished in the 17th century.
St. Paul may have spent two years in the crypt under the present church when he was under house arrest awaiting his trial.
Above the altar is a miraculous icon of the Blessed Virgin Mary called "Virgin Advocate". Relics of the deacon-martyr Agapitus lie under the altar. A crypt is also open for visit.
Cardinal Edward Cassidy, the former ecumenical chief from Australia, has been the Cardinal-Deacon of the diaconal church. When he had become cardinal for 10 years, the deaconry became a titular church for the time being, and he was promoted to the Order of Cardinal-Priest.
Within a walk of 200 metres, you can also admire the Titular Church of St. Marcellus (which we will visit tomorrow), the Basilica of the Twelve Apostles (which we visited earlier), and the Titular Church of St. Ignatius of Loyola.