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The Pope at the Lourdes Grotto in the Vatican Gardens

· After his visit to Cardinal Mejia ·

Another Marian stop for Pope Francis: after his visit to the Basilica of St Mary Major the day following his election, in the afternoon of Friday 15 March the Pontiff visited the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes, in the Vatican Gardens, to prayer for the statue of the Virgin.

Accompanied by the Substitute of the Secretary of State, Archbishop Becciu, and by Mons. Sapienza, Regent of  the Prefecture of the Papal Household, Pope Francis then reentered the Domus Sanctae Marthae, his current residence.

Before that he had gone to visit the 90-year-old Cardinal Jorge Maria Meija, Archivist and Librarian of Holy Roman Church, who had been admitted to the Roman  Pius XI Clinic after suffering a heart attack two days before. After remembering him that morning at the audience with Cardinals in the Clementine Hall, he made a surprise outing – the second in two days – to visit him in person at the  clinic on Via Aurelia.

The Bishop of Rome stayed for about 20 minutes alone with the Argentine Cardinal, born in Buenos Aires like him.

Welcomed by the doctors and employees, patients and visitors of the establishment run by the Sisters of San José de Gerona, Pope Bergoglio also greeted and blessed the others recovering in  intensive care. Then, with great simplicity, he went to the Chapel on the ground floor for a moment of reflection. Finally, to those present to pray for him and thanked the personnel for their work with the sick and suffering.




St. Peter’s Square

Feb. 17, 2020