Pope Returns from Historic Visit to Cuba and the United States

Prays at Basilica of Saint Mary Major

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Shortly before 10 a.m., the American Airlines flight bearing Pope Francis from his historic 10 day visit to Cuba and the United States landed in Rome’s Ciampino airport.

During the flight, the Pope held a 40 minute press conference with journalists.

Upon landing, the Holy Father made his customary visit to the Rome’s Basilica of Saint Mary Major to give thanks to the Blessed Mother for his visit.

According to Vatican news blog, Il Sismografo, the Pope spent several minutes in prayer in front of the image of Salus Populi Romani (Protectoress of the Roman People). According to legend, the image one of several paintings believed to have been painted by Saint Luke.This is the Pope’s 25th visit to the Basilica since his election. The 78 year old Pontiff has made it a custom to visit and pray to the Blessed Virgin Mary before and after every journey. 

Following his visit to the Basilica, the Pope returned to the Vatican. Pope Francis’ next apostolic trip will be to Kenya, Uganda and the Central African Republic from November 25th – 30th. (J.A.E.)

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