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

Returning From Peru, Pope Stops at Santa Maria Maggiore

After His 22nd Apostolic Visit Abroad, Francis’ 1st Stop Upon Return to Rome Is to Pray Before Mary in Marian Basilica

Moments after landing in Rome’s Ciampino Airport Tuesday after 2 p.m. local time, Pope Francis traveled to the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore to offer thanks for the success of his eight-day Apostolic Trip to Peru and Chile, Jan. 15-22, 2018.

According to a note from the Holy See Press Office, before returning to the Vatican, after landing safely at the airport, the Pope made his usual detour to go to the Marian Basilica.

The Holy Father 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 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, EWTN and Salt & Light. For 'The Other Francis': https://www.amazon.com/Other-Francis-Everything-They-about/dp/0852449348/

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