Pope Francis on May 1, 2018, made a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Divine Love to launch the Marian Month and pray the Rosary — in particular for peace in Syria.
“Dear brothers and sisters, day after tomorrow, May 1, in the afternoon, I will initiate the Marian Month with a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Divine Love,” the Holy Father proclaimed after praying the Regina Coeli with the crowds gather in St. Peter’s Square on April 30, 2018. “We will pray the Rosary, praying in particular for peace in Syria and in the whole world. I invite you to unite yourselves spiritually and to prolong throughout the month of May the prayer of the Rosary for peace.”
The Holy Father has been a strong proponent of the Rosary as a source of comfort and spiritual strength. At his May 3, 2017, general audience in St. Peter’s Square he urged young people: “learn to pray with the simple and effective prayer of the rosary”.
The Shrine of Our Lady of Divine Love is a Roman Catholic shrine dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary that consists of two churches: an old church built in 1745 and a new church added to the sanctuary in 1999. The church was included by Pope John Paul II in the pilgrimage of Seven Pilgrim Churches of Rome during the Holy Year 2000. The last Pope to visit the sanctuary was Benedict XVI in 2006.
The shrine has been a site for pilgrimages since the 1740s when a visitor was saved from a pack of angry dogs through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary.