Pope Francis prays in the rain

Italian police intercept envelope containing three bullets addressed to the Pope

Italian police intercept envelope containing three bullets addressed to the Pope. CREDIT: Gabriel Andres Trujillo Escobedo - Flickr

POPE FRANCIS went to Piazza di Spagna at 7am this morning, Tuesday December 8, to venerate the Immaculate Conception on the day on which it is marked.

Despite the rain, Pope Francis venerated the Madonna before her statue in Piazza di Spagna, in a private act, and celebrated Mass in her honour.

According to a statement released by the director of the Holy See Press Office, Matteo Bruni:

“With the first light of dawn, under the rain, Pope Francis placed a bouquet of roses at the base of the column where the statue of the Madonna is, and turned to her in prayer, so that she might lovingly watch over Rome and its inhabitants, entrusting to her all in the city and the world who are afflicted by illness and discouragement.”

He left 15 minutes later, wearing a mask and carrying his umbrella and went to the Papal Basilica of St Mary Major. There “he prayed before the icon Maria Salus Popoli Romani and celebrated Mass in the crypt of the Nativity.”

Pope Francis then returned to the Vatican.

It had been announced on November 30 that Pope Francis had decided not to go to Piazza di Spagna on the afternoon of the feast of the Immaculate Conception, as is the usual custom due to the ongoing health crisis, “to avoid all risk of contagion caused by gatherings.”

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Jennifer Leighfield

Jennifer Leighfield, born in Salisbury, UK; resident in Malaga, Spain since 1989. Degree in Translation and Interpreting in Spanish, French and English from Malaga University (2005), specialising in Crime, Forensic Medicine and Genetics. Published translations include three books by Richard Handscombe. Worked with Euro Weekly News since November 2006. Well-travelled throughout Spain and the rest of the world, fan of Harry Potter and most things ‘geek’.