Pope Francis will celebrate Mass in Rome’s papal Basilica of Saint Mary Major, on the occasion of the translation of the icon of Mary “Salus Populi Romani” (Salvation of the Roman People), on Sunday, January 28, 2018 at 9:00 am, indicated a press release of the Basilica.
The liturgical celebration will coincide with the exhibition of this ancient icon, “renewed after a delicate and exacting intervention carried out in the restoration laboratories of the Vatican Museums, coordinated by the Directress, Barbara Jatta, and with the supervision of a Commission headed by the Basilica’s Archpriest, Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko.
The sophisticated technologies of studies carried out before the intervention and the extraordinary expertise of the Vatican’s restorers made it possible to recover the original beauty and historical reality of the work, blurred over the centuries by varnish, repainting and the effects of devotional usage,” explained the press release.
The icon of the Virgin and Child is of large dimensions and painted on a cedar support. It has been the object of particular devotion at least since the 13th century, and is kept in the Pauline (or Borghese) Chapel of the Basilica.
Pope Francis places a floral bouquet there before and after each of his international journeys: on January 22, 2018 he thanked the Virgin Mary for his trip to Chile and Peru, having gone directly from the airport to the Basilica of Saint Mary Major.
The Argentine Pontiff has gone to Saint Mary Major more than 50 times.