Pope Francis paid the traditional homage pontiffs make before the statue of Our Lady in Piazza di Spagna.
In a heartfelt and poetic
prayer, on the feast day of the Immaculate Conception, he presented
himself in front of the statue of the Virgin in Piazza di Spagna.
not come alone,” he said, “I carry with me all those that your Son has
entrusted to me, in this City of Rome and throughout the world, so that
You may bless them and save them from perils.”
In addition to this
tradition, the Holy Father went on to visit the Basilica of S. Maria
Maggiore where he prayed before the icon of Maria Salus Populi Romani.
In the prayer, recited after several Marian songs, the pontiff
mentioned children, families with their problems involved in "daily and
hidden work", and workers. He asked Our Lady for her "immaculate look",
free from selfishness, an "immaculate heart" to love without "masks and
ruses", "immaculate hands" to "support those who waver", and “immaculate
feet" to go towards those who are lonely.
Finally, the pope mentioned the certainty that She who is without
stain shall ensure the "power of the Holy Spirit that makes all things
new" and bring victory over "discouragement". Many sick people were
present among the faithful in the square.
Here is the full text of Pope Francis’s prayer:
O Mary, our Immaculate Mother, on the day of your feast I come to
You, and I do not come alone: I carry with me all those that your Son
has entrusted to me, in this City of Rome and throughout the world, so
that You may bless them and save them from perils.
I bring to you, Mother, children, especially those who are alone,
abandoned, and for this reason they are deceived and exploited. I bring
to you, Mother, families, who keep life and society going with their
daily and hidden work, especially families who experience more
difficulties because of many internal and external problems.
I bring to you, Mother, all the workers, men and women, and above
all, I entrust to you those who, out of necessity, struggle to carry out
an unfit job and those who lost their job or cannot find one.
We need your immaculate look to regain the ability to look at people
and things with respect and gratitude, without self-interest, or
hypocrisy. We need your immaculate heart, to love freely, with no
ulterior motives, seeking the good of others, with simplicity and
sincerity, forsaking masks and ruses. We need your immaculate hands to
caress with tenderness, to touch the flesh of Jesus in the poor, sick,
despised brothers and sisters, to raise up those who have fallen and
sustain those who waver. We need your immaculate feet to go out to those
who cannot make the first move, to walk on the paths of those who are
lost, to visit the lonely.
We thank you, O Mother, because just showing yourself to us liberates
from every stain of sin, You remind us that, first of all, there is
God’s grace, there is love of Jesus Christ who gave his life for us,
there is the power of the Holy Spirit that makes all things new.
Make sure that we do not yield to discouragement, but, trusting in
your constant help, we fully commit to renewing ourselves, this city and
the whole world. Pray for us, Holy Mother of God!