According to popular tradition, the birth of Sanctuary is linked to an apparition of Madonna to a peasant in 1536. Original oratory was soon expanded into a major builing. Church was built in 1536, designed by Pace Antonino Sormano, as typical example of early Baroque. Forecourt stands a fountain by Giacomo Antonio Ponsonelli (1708). The facade, with three stone doors from Finale is by Taddeo Carlone from Rovio di Lugano. Among the major works contained within are an altar by Gian Lorenzo Bernini and a large painting by Domenichino. In the Crypt there is the statue of Our Lady of Mercy. Sanctuary also has a Treasure Museum, where you can admire offerings of various eras, vestments and sacred objects, including a silver reliquary of Cross gilt by goldsmith Vincenzo Belli.