Pope Prays in Basilica Saint Mary Major

For His Trip to Cyprus and Greece from December 2-6

Basilica Saint Mary Major
© Vatican Media

The Holy Father Francis prayed this afternoon in the papal Basilica of Saint Mary Major for his upcoming trip to Cyprus and Greece, which starts on Thursday, December 2, and will end on December 6.

The Pope went to the Basilica to entrust his trip to the Virgin Mary, Salus Populi Romani. Then he returned to Casa Santa Marta in the Vatican, reported the Holy See Press Office.

It Is a Special Place for the Pontiff

 The Basilica of Saint Mary Major, where the image of our Lady of the Snows is found, is a special place for Pope Francis. It’s a place he visits every time he undertakes an Apostolic Journey and again on his return.

In March of 2020, in the midst of the pandemic, he also went to the Basilica to pray before this icon, and to the church of Saint Marcellus, in the Corso, where the miraculous Crucifix is found that saved the Eternal City from the plague in the 16th century.

Last July 15, after being discharged from the hospital, following a planned colon operation, and before returning to the Vatican, the Holy Father went to the Basilica of Saint Mary Major, and prayed before the icon of the Virgin Mary Salus Populi Romani, to thank Her for the success of his surgical intervention and he also prayed for all patients, especially those he met during his stay in the hospital.”

And, in September of this year, before his trip to Budapest and Slovakia, the Bishop of Rome entrusted his visit to the Virgin.

Translation by Virginia M. Forrester