The church is ancient, and the origins of the appellation has been lost in the mists of time. It is very old, as it is known that it was restored by Pope Gregory III (731-741). One theory is that it was one of the tituli, the first parish churches in Rome, namely the titulus Equitii. However, it is more likely that San Martino ai Monti is the titulus Equitii.
It has been referred to as Santa Maria della Visitazione, notably by Pope Urban VI in 1389.
It was granted to the Confraternity of Oprhans in the 16th century.