The church of Santo Spirito in Sassia (Holy Spirit in Saxony)
is a 16th century titular and former hospital church in Rome dedicated to the Holy Spirit. Historically, the church has been part of the complex of the Ospedale di Santo Spirito in Sassia. This is no longer the case, and it is now the Italian shrine of the devotion to Divine Mercy
. This devotion arose from revelations given to St Faustina Kowalska
. There is a strong Polish presence here.
For reference, a plan of the church is available here
The church stands on land that Pope Gregory II donated to Saxon King Cedwalla first and then to his successor Ina. There, King Ine of Wessex built the Schola Sacorum (the Saxon School) in 728 which was a charitable institution for Saxon pilgrims.
The hospice and church were gutted by fire in 817, were sacked by Muslim raiders in 846, and were again burned in 852. They were rebuilt by Pope Leo IV, as part of his project to create the walled Leonine City.
In 1198, at the request of Pope Innocent III, the Holy Spirit Hospital and church was rebuilt with donations from King John of England. The Pope commissioned the construction and supervision of the work to Guido di Montpellier
, the founder of the Hospital Brotherhood of the Holy Spirit in France.
When Rome was sacked in 1527, the church was almost entirely destroyed. Pope Paul III had the church completely rebuilt.
The St. John Paul II appointed the church of Santo Spirito in Sassia to be The Divine Mercy Spirituality Center (from 1 January 1994).