Pope Prays at Santa Maria Maggiore - © PHOTO.VA - OSSERVATORE ROMANO

Returning From United Arab Emirates, for 1st Trip of a Pope Ever to Arabian Peninsula, Pope Stops at Santa Maria Maggiore

After His 27th Apostolic Visit Abroad, Francis Prays Before Mary in Marian Basilica

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Tuesday afternoon after having landed in Rome’s Ciampino Airport on Feb. 5, 2019, Pope Francis traveled to the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore to offer thanks for the success of his two-day Apostolic Visit to the United Arab Emirates, marking the first time a Pope has stepped foot in the Arabian Peninsula, Feb. 3-5, 2019, for the occasion of the International Interfaith Meeting on Human Fraternity. ZENIT’s Senior Vatican correspondent, Deborah Lubov, was on the papal flight, covering the trip.
After the stop, Director ‘ad interim’ of the Holy See Press Office, Alessandro Gisotti, on his Twitter, made the following tweet: “On returning from his journey to the United Arab Emirates, Pope Francis went to the Basilica of Saint Mary Major to pray. #HumanFraternity
It is already a usual detour for the Holy Father to go to the Marian Basilica; he always venerates the icon before and after his international apostolic trips.
During his time inside, Francis prayed before the ancient image of Mary, Salus Populi Romani, in silence for several minutes.
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On ZENIT’s Web page:
https://zenit.org/articles/feature-pope-francis-in-flight-presser-i-found-good-will-to-start-a-peace-process-in-yemen-zenit-was-on-the-papal-flight/
https://zenit.org/articles/exclusive-interview-catholic-sisters-pioneers-of-education-in-uae/
https://zenit.org/articles/exclusive-interview-ahead-of-being-on-papal-flight-for-united-arab-emirates-zenit-speaks-with-apostolic-vicar-of-southern-arabia-bishop-paul-hinder-2/
https://zenit.org/articles/interview-i-hope-pope-francis-will-call-for-full-freedom-for-everyone-in-every-muslim-majority-country-2/

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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': http://www.gracewing.co.uk/page219.html or https://www.amazon.com/Other-Francis-Everything-They-about/dp/0852449348/

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