The World

"The Gospel shows us Mary's courage," Pope says

Numerous people paid homage to the Immaculate Conception today in Rome. Among them, Pope Francis, will pray this afternoon before the statue of Our Lady in Piazza di Spagna inaugurated by Pius IX in 1857. In addition, the Pope briefly reflected on the figure of Mary during the Angelus.

Loreto Rios-December 8, 2023-Reading time: 2 minutes

A firefighter pays homage to the statue of Our Lady of Rome in 2018 ©CNS photo/Paul Haring.

Today is the Immaculate Conception of Mary and many people have come to Piazza di Spagna in Rome to venerate the statue of the Virgin Mary inaugurated by Pius IX in honor of the Immaculate Conception a few years after proclaim the dogma.

This morning, the Pope prayed the Angelus in St. Peter's Square, in which he recalled that the Angel Gabriel, in greeting the Virgin at the Annunciation, does not call her "Mary": "He does not call her by her name, Mary, but by a new name that she did not know: full of grace. Full of grace, and therefore empty of sin, is the name God gives her and which we celebrate today. (...) Preserving our beauty entails a cost, it entails a struggle. In fact, the Gospel shows us the courage of Mary, who said "yes" to God, who chose to take God's riskand the passage of Genesis, concerning original sin, speaks of a struggle against the tempter and his temptations". 

The Pope also remembered the victims of countries at war and asked for the gift of peace.

Rome pays homage to the Immaculate Conception

In addition, other tributes to the Mother of God are planned throughout the day: at 3:30 pm, Francis will donate a Golden Rose to the image of the Virgin Salus Populi Romani.

Afterwards, around 4:00 p.m., the Pope will go to the Spanish Steps in Rome to venerate the image of the Virgin, a tradition that dates back to 1857, when Pope Pius IX inaugurated this statue in homage to the Immaculate Conception.

The column of the monument is 12 meters high and was designed by the architect Luigi Poletti. On top of it is the bronze statue of the Madonna, created by the sculptor Giuseppe Obici.

Upon his arrival, Francis will be received by Cardinal Angelo De Donatis and the civil authorities, he will pray before the image and lay flowers at its feet.

This statue receives numerous visits throughout December 8, both from individuals and organizations. First of all, as is tradition, the fire department comes to the Plaza de España at 7 a.m., since it was they who inaugurated the monument in 1857. The Order of Malta, the Vatican Gendarmerie Corps and the Spanish Ambassador to the Holy See, among others, will also pay tribute to her.

For its part, the Basilica of the Twelve Holy Apostles houses the oldest novena to the Immaculate Conception in Rome. Today, for the conclusion of the novena, Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re will celebrate Mass.

"100 Nativity Scenes in the Vatican".

This afternoon will also see the inauguration of the international exhibition "100 Nativity Scenes in the Vatican", one of the preparatory events for the Jubilee 2025, as part of the "Jubilee is Culture" initiative. The inauguration will be attended by Monsignor Rino Fisichella, proprefect of the Dicastery for Evangelization, and the Italian Ambassador to the Holy See, Francesco di Nitto.

The event will also be attended by Father Massimo Fusarelli, Minister General of the Order of Friars Minor, and the Mayor of Greccio, Emiliano Fabi.

The exhibition, which features more than 120 cribs from 22 different countries, commemorates the 800th anniversary of the crib that St. Francis created at Christmas 1223 in the town of Greccio, located a few kilometers from Rieti, which began the tradition of cribs.

La Brújula Newsletter Leave us your email and receive every week the latest news curated with a catholic point of view.
Banner advertising
Banner advertising