This painting originated from the old headquarters of Holy House of Mercy of Lisbon, in the manueline Church of Conceição Velha. This large church situated near the Royal Palace of Lisbon was partially destroyed by the Lisbon earthquake, in 1755, and the Brotherhood of Misericordia was then moved to the former Professed House of São Roque, following the expulsion of the Society of Jesus.
For a long time this painting made by the court painter Garcia Fernandes in 1541 was identified as featuring the third marriage of King Manuel I with Leonor of Austria, in the year of 15178, after his second wife’s death Mary of Castile. Up to the 20th century this interpretation was commonly accepted. However, in 1998, Joaquim Oliveira Caetano within the context of an exhibition dedicated to the works of Garcia Fernandes, put forward a new interpretation of the theme as being the wedding of Saint Alexis, based on the existence of a brotherhood of Saint Alexis located in the former Misericordia Church. Both interpretations are nowadays disputed by historians.