Pope Francis has made his usual pre-apostolic trip visit to Santa Maria Maggiore.
In an unannounced briefing in the Holy See Press Office, Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi, the Vatican Press Office director, told journalists that at around 11 a.m. this morning, Francis visited Rome’s Marian basilica.
“He spent about 15 minutes there, he prayed to Mary and brought her flowers,” Fr. Lombardi said.
Turning to the subject of the recently appointed papal envoy to Iraq, Cardinal Fernando Filoni, the Vatican spokesman said the cardinal landed yesterday in the Jordanian capital of Amman and hopes to reach Erbil today, the Iraqi capital of Kurdistan.
On ZENIT’s Web page:
Background on the Pope’s visits to the Marian Basilica: http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/august-5-snow-fell-on-rome