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His travel companion to the Holy Land

· On the eve of his departure, Pope Francis prays to Salus populi Romani ·

White roses at the feet of Our Lady Salus populi Romani and quiet prayer in the Basilica of St Mary Major in Rome. The Holy Father went to place the flowers at the foot of the Virgin on Friday, 23 May, the eve of his visit to the Holy Land, praying her to accompany him on his visit. 

A gesture that Pope Francis has made from the very beginning of his pontificate and which is no longer surprising. Thus at 11 am the Pope entered the Basilica and was welcomed by Cardinal Archpriest Santos Abril y Castelló. The tourists present stopped in awe, others seemed like they almost expected it. Indeed on 20 July before leaving for Brazil, the Bishop of Rome entrusted his pilgrimage to Our Lady. And after 20 minutes of deep prayer in front of the ancient image, the Pope spoke with the Cardinal Archpriest before returning to the Vatican.

Meanwhile the Holy Land awaits the Holy Father's arrival and visit, which the Patriarch of Constantinople defined as one of “great significance”, underlining “our common willingness and responsibility to advance along the path paved by our predecessors”.

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