The Santuario della Madonna del Divino Amore (Shrine of Our Lady of Divine Love) has confirmed that Pope Francis will the famed Roman sanctuary on May 18th.
The shrine, which is comprised of the original church built in 1745 and the current church built in 1999, is a place of pilgrimage held dear to Romans. An image of Our Lady with the Child Jesus that is considered miraculous is housed in the sanctuary.
The Holy Father’s predecessors have visited the pilgrimage site in the past. Blessed John Paul II visited the shrine twice: on June 7, 1987 and July 4, 1999. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI visited the shrine on May 1st, 2006.
Throughout his pontificate, Pope Francis has shown particular devotion to the Blessed Mother. The morning after his election, he made an unannounced visit to the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome. He visited the same Basilica before and after his apostolic visit to Brazil for World Youth Day.
“Our journey of faith is the same as that of Mary, and so we feel that she is particularly close to us,” Pope Francis said on the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God, on January 1st, 2014.
“As far as faith, the hinge of the Christian life, is concerned, the Mother of God shared our condition,” he added. “She had to take the same path as ourselves, a path which is sometimes difficult and obscure. She had to advance in the ‘pilgrimage of faith’”. (J.A.E.)