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In 1483 a group of devoted women asked for permission to build a monastery that would welcome them at Sant'Agnese in Dorsoduro. Not having obtained what they wanted, they were granted the area of ​​the arzeri novi in ​​Sant'Andrea where it is said that a hermit, in 1433, had seen the Madonna with the Child in her arms in that area.

The current church was built in 1523, while the primitive one dates back to the early 1500s, used for internal and exclusive use by the nuns. The adjacent monastery was built between 1509 and 1526.

Initially the church was very small and dedicated to San Vincenzo. Shortly after, however, it is said that the confessor of the nuns had heard the Madonna ask him to bring the icon dedicated to her and kept in the attic by him to the church, in order to be honored and venerated. In December 1523 there was the solemn transport of the miraculous image on the altar and the building was dedicated to Santa Maria Maggiore.

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