Madonna della Salute (Madonna Salus Infirmorum)
The Italian title for this iconographyic type is generally taken to mean "Our Lady of Health." The Latin translates as "Our Lady Health of the Sick." Both the Italian Salute and the Latin Salus can also mean "salvation."

The first picture on the right is one of the oldest examplars. The Christ Child caresses his mother with his left hand while pointing to her with his right.

The second picture is a late exemplar that is similarly patterned: one of the child's hands on his mother's hand, and the other pointing to her. It is located in Rome's La Maddalena, in the chapel of St. Camillo de Lellis. That saint founded a religious order dedicated to serving the sick. It served as a model for a modern stained glass Madonna in the Sanctuary of St. Camillo in Milan.

There are other Madonna della Salute traditions. The one in Venice, associated with the plague of 1630, disposes the figures' hands in a more traditional fashion.

Prepared in 2019 by Richard Stracke, Emeritus Professor of English, Augusta University.


The Madonna della Salute in the Basilica of SS. Cosmas and Damian. (See the description page.)

The Madonna della Salute in Santa Maria Maddalena, Rome. (See the description page.)