(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis paid a private visit to the Basilica of St. Mary Major on Monday morning to thank Our Lady for the success of his just-ended one-day apostolic visit to Albania.
A brief statement from the Director of the Press Office of the Holy See, Fr. Federico Lombardi SJ, said the Pope made the trip across the city center to spend time with Our Lady salus populi Romani – Protectress of the Roman people – whose icon in the church is among the city’s most beloved objects of Marian devotion.
The bouquet of flowers he presented to Our Lady was the one he received on Sunday evening during his meeting with the disabled at the Betania Home for the disabled in Tirana.
The faithful present in the Basilica at the time joined the Pope for the final recitation of the Salve Regina.
Pope Francis returned to the Vatican at 12.30 Rome time.
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