Domenico Bartolini’s painting “Madonna of the Miracle” was on the stage in Paul VI Audience Hall during Pope Francis’s general audience of December 28.
According to L’Osservatore Romano, the painting will also be
displayed in St. Peter’s Basilica as Pope Francis celebrates Vespers on
December 31 and Mass on January 1.
The painting, normally located in the Basilica of Sant’Andrea delle
Fratte in Rome, commemorates the apparition of the Blessed Virgin to
Marie-Alphonse Ratisbonne (1814-84) in that church in January 1842.
Ratisbonne, a Jew who was engaged to be married, converted to
Catholicism, became a Jesuit priest, and founded the Congregation of Our
Lady of Sion.
Father Francesco Trebisonda, Sant’Andrea delle Fratte’s parish
priest, told the Vatican newspaper that the painting’s appearance in St.
Peter’s Basilica “is a solemn way to begin the celebration of the
Marian year for the 175 years since the apparition of the Immaculate.”