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Pope Prays at Santa Maria Maggiore - © PHOTO.VA - OSSERVATORE ROMANO

Returning From Panama, Pope Stops at Santa Maria Maggiore

After His 26th Apostolic Visit Abroad, Francis Prays Before Mary in Marian Basilica

Monday afternoon after having landed in Rome’s Ciampino Airport around 11:20 a.m. in Rome on Jan. 28, 2019, Pope Francis traveled to the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore to offer thanks for the success of his four-day Apostolic Visit to the Central American country of Panama, Jan. 23-27, 2019, for the occasion of the XXXIV World Youth Day.

Director ‘ad interim’ of the Holy See Press Office, Alessandro Gisotti, on his Twitter, made the following tweet: “On returning from his journey to Panama for World Youth Day, Pope Francis went to the Basilica of Saint Mary Major to pray.

It is already a usual detour for the Holy Father to go to the Marian Basilica; he always venerates the icon before and after his international apostolic trips.

During his time inside, Francis prayed before the ancient image of Mary, Salus Populi Romani, in silence for several minutes.

About Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is a Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in four languages). She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, at times from the papal flight, and has done television and radio commentary, including for Vatican Radio and BBC. She is a contributor to National Catholic Register, UK Catholic Herald, Our Sunday Visitor, Inside the Vatican, and other Catholic news outlets. She has also collaborated with the Vatican in various projects, including an internship at the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, and is a collaborator with NBC Universal, NBC News, Euronews, and EWTN. For 'The Other Francis': http://www.gracewing.co.uk/page219.html or https://www.amazon.com/Other-Francis-Everything-They-about/dp/0852449348/

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