The present church was built over an earlier church of the tenth century that was converted into a cemetery and is located below the current one. The conversion began in 1356 by Giordano Colonna.
The church was built to guard and venerate an image of Mary, called Mother of Good Counsel, which according to legend is from a church of Scutari in Albania. The image was supposed to have arrived carried by the angels on the day of April 25, 1467 after the Muslims arrived in Albania. The angels are said to have settled on a small church that Beata Petruccia was building.
Since then the entire population helped to finish the building that soon became a pilgrimage destination and the image is still in the sanctuary. The scene is told in a beautiful painting.
The church is now in an eighteenth-century style and is rich in works of art such as the original balustrade with cherubs and drapery marble that is attributed to Bernini.
Behind the altar is a large organ of 1930 instead of frescoes that are now in the museum on the ground floor. The museum houses the works of many artists who over the centuries have wanted to pay homage to the sacred image and splendid ‘vestments’ from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The museum also houses the bell that on April 25, 1467 announced the arrival of the image.
In the refectory there is a fresco by Taddeo Conza depicting the miracle of the loaves and fishes.
The sanctuary was visited by many popes, including Pope Urban VIII, Pius IX, John XXIII and Giovanni Paolo II.