Pope Francis has gone to Rome’s Piazza di Spagna for the traditional act of veneration of the Immaculate Conception.
Today, being the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, at 4 p.m., the Holy Father traveled to Rome’s famous square in central Rome, greeted crowds, the elderly and ill as he arrived, and prayed before the statue of Mary.
Before returning to the Vatican, the Pope went to the Basilica of Saint Mary Major, to pause in prayer before the image of the Salus Populi Romani, as Francis has done before on this feast day.
Here is a ZENIT translation of the prayer that the Holy Father recited this year in the course of the Act of Veneration of the Immaculate in Piazza di Spagna:
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O Mary, our Immaculate Mother, on your feast day I come to you, and I do not come alone: I bring with me those whom your Son has entrusted to me, in this city of Rome and in the whole world, so that you will bless them and saved them from dangers.
I bring to you, Mother, the children, especially those who are alone, abandoned, and, because of this, are deceived and exploited. I bring to you, Mother, the families, who take life and society forward with their daily and hidden commitment; particularly the families that make more effort because of many internal and external problems.
I bring to you, Mother, all workers, men and women, and I entrust to you above all those who, because of necessity, make an effort to engage in fitting work, and those who have lost their work or cannot find it.
We are in need of your immaculate gaze, to rediscover our capacity to look at persons and things with respect and gratitude, without egotistical interests or hypocrisies. We are in need of your immaculate heart, to love in a gratuitous way, without secondary ends but seeking the other’s good, with simplicity and sincerity, renouncing masks and tricks. We are in need of your immaculate hands, to caress with tenderness, to touch the flesh of Jesus in poor, sick, scorned brothers, to raise those who have fallen and to support those who vacillate. We are in need of your immaculate feet, to walk on the paths of those who are lost, to go to find persons who are alone.
We thank you, O Mother, because showing yourself to us free of every stain of sin, You remind us that there is, first of all, God’s grace, there is the love of Jesus Christ who gave His life for us, there is the strength of the Holy Spirit who renews all.
Let us not yield to discouragement but, trusting in your constant help, we commit ourselves profoundly to renew ourselves, this city and the whole world. Pray for us, Holy Mother of God![Original text: Italian] [Translation by ZENIT]