Conservative Control is Carried Out of the Salus Populi Romani

The Venerated Icon of Our Lady Kept in the Borghese Chapel of the Basilica of Saint Mary Major

Conservative Control is Carried
Checking the icon of the Salus Populi Romani

In the course of this morning, January 20, 2022, the conservative control was carried out in the Papal Basilica of Saint Mary Major of the Salus Populi Romani, venerated icon of Our Lady.

The Salus Populi Romani,” which means literally “Salvation of the Roman People,” is an acheropita icon, or of miraculous origin, which tradition attributes to the hand of Saint Luke. Since the Middle Ages, the icon has been a particular object of veneration by the Roman people who turn to Her to ward off dangers and misfortunes.

The icon is exhibited in a niche above the main altar of the Pauline Chapel, built by Pope Paul V (Camillo Borghese, 1605-1621). It is the object of the religious pilgrimage of faithful and visitors. Pope Francis, who is very devoted to the Salus Populi Romani, never fails to visit her before undertaking an important trip and also on his return.

The Restoration

The object of a long and delicate restoration, carried out in the restoration laboratories of the Vatican Museums, on January 28, 2018, Feast of the Translation of the Salus Populi Roman, in the course of a touching ceremony presided over by Pope Francis, the icon was returned to the Basilica inside an air-conditioned display case, planned to ensure its conservation over time.

This morning in the presence of the Archpriest of the Basilica, Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, of Representatives of the Canons’ Chapter, the Extraordinary Commissioner, Monsignor Rolandas Makrickas, and of the Director of the Vatican Museums, Barbara Jatta, after a brief prayer the technicians transferred the display case to the premises of the Basilica’s Chapter Hall.

The Technicians’ Control

 The Vatican technicians opened the display case inside the Hall. The experts of the Paintings Restoration Laboratory, responsible for the restoration and the Office of the Curator were able to verify the optimum conditions of the Icon. Thus, after the general satisfaction, shortly after the Angelus, the icon of Salus Populi Romani was returned to be exhibited in “its” Pauline Chapel. There it will continue to receive the homage of many Romans and pilgrims from all over the world.

Translation by Virginia M. Forrester