Last evening, Pope Francis traveled to the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore to pray for the success of his 14th Apostolic Visit abroad to the nation of Armenia. The Holy Father almost always visits Rome’s Marian Basilica to pray for Mary’s protection and intercession before and after his papal trips.
According to Vatican Radio, the Pope prayed before the ancient image of Mary, Salus Populi Romani, and invoked the Virgin Mary’s protection on his travels and upon the people he will visit in Armenia.
According to a press release from Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See Press Office, Pope Francis left a bouquet of flowers, in the colors of the Armenian flag at the altar after his prayer.
This morning, Pope Francis, his papal entourage, and journalists boarded the Alitalia plane at Rome’s Fiumicino Airport and they arrived in the Armenian capital of Yerevan at about 2:50 local time, 12:50 Rome time.