Moments after landing in Rome’s Ciampino Airport Monday evening, Pope Francis traveled to the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore to offer thanks for the success of his trip to Africa, which ended the same day. This visit marked the Holy Father’s 28th visit to the Marian Basilica since his election.
According to Vatican Radio, the Pope prayed before the ancient image of Mary, Salus Populi Romani, in silence for several minutes.
Before Monday’s stop, the Holy Father’s most recent visit to the Marian Basilica was on Nov. 24, the evening before departing for his first Apostolic Visit to Africa, which took him to the capitals of Kenya, Uganda, and Central African Republic. (D.C.L)