a detail of the “grotto of Lourdes” that not everyone knows


“Assiduous and agree in prayer, together with Mary”, this is the theme of the Holy Rosary with Pope Francis, in front of the “Lourdes grotto”.

The prayer appointment on Saturday 30 May at 17.30 took place in front of the Lourdes grotto in the Vatican Gardens. And in communion with the main 40 shrines of the five continents. In particular: Aparecida in Brazil and Lujàn in Argentina, the sanctuaries from Korea to Fatima, from Lourdes to Częstochowa, to Our Lady of Banneux. And then the Italian sanctuaries of Loreto, of Padre Pio in San Giovanni Rotondo, of Pompeii and many others. In short, all united in the challenge against Coronavirus.

A detail of the cave

The interesting thing, of which not many are aware, is that the cave of the Vatican Gardens, in front of which Pope Francis stopped in prayer, is a faithful reproduction of the grotto of Lourdes. And the altar that’s there in the cave, it was the first original altar that once stood at the grotto of Lourdes.

It was donated to the pontiff by the bishop of Lourdes Mons.Théas in 1960 and rebuilt here. The altar is decorated with silver plaques depicting the Virgin Mary in the center, on the left Bernadette kneeling with a candle in her hand, on the right a genuflected and reverential angel; a shelf and a small column frame it on the sides.

Rosary live with Pope Francis and shrines around the world

Pope Francis: united to invoke the help of the Virgin Mary

The recitation of the Holy Rosary was attended by i “Representatives” of the categories most affected by the infection and also those most active in the service for the good of the community, in this difficult moment. A doctor and a nurse took turns in prayer, representing as we know all the doctors and all the health personnel who have worked in the past few months without sparing themselves and at the risk of their lives.

Then a pharmacist, a chaplain priest at the Spallanzani hospital in Rome, which is the capital’s hospital for infectious diseases. And some consecrated persons who have also been infected and have healed. And still in a particular way also the Civil Protection to represent everyone who gave volunteer testimony, and a journalist.

And then a family, to which a baby was born, Jacopo, just one month old, during this dramatic period. “Jacopo is the one who gives hope, he is the one who makes it clear that life continues and will always go on, because man is made for life, he is made to live, “said Archbishop Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for New Evangelization who organized this prayer.

Pope Francis and Mons Rino Fisichella

The final greeting of Pope Francis in Spanish

At the end of the prayer, Pope Francis recalled the sanctuaries of Latin America in connection with the Rosary, in particular the sanctuary of the Madonna of Guadalupe, and wanted to send them his greeting in Spanish.

Simona Amabene

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