Recent Mass

On Monday, the Feast of St. Scholastica – sister of St. Benedict – I was fortunate to have the opportunity to celebrate Mass at the altar of Our Lady, Protectress of the Roman People (Madonna “Salus Populi Romani”) in the Basilica of St. Mary Major. This large and opulent chapel is known alternatively as the “Pauline Chapel”, “Borghese Chapel”, or the “Salus Populi Romani Chapel”.

I reserved the altar for a visiting priest, and we concelebrated. Since I don’t speak his language and he doesn’t speak mine, we concelebrated in Latin.

This particular ancient image icon of the Madonna and Child has always been special for Pope Francis who, before being elected Pope, always paid a visit to this chapel whenever he came to Rome. Since his papal election, he has visited this chapel at least three times to pray:

You will note that this altar “faces Christ“; they have never done the architectural, liturgical, and visual violence of installing a new altar in front it that “faces the people”.

This chapel was constructed during the years 1606-1614. Read more about this famous and important Marian image at this site.

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