Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Wednesday 04 August |
Saint of the Day: St. John Vianney
home iconSpirituality
line break icon

Flowers for Our Lady in Piazza di Spagna

© DR

Vatican Radio - published on 12/08/14

Pope venerates the Blessed Virgin on the 160th anniversary of the proclamation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception.

(Vatican Radio) One of the highlights of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception in Rome is the visit of the Pope to Piazza di Spagna where he traditionally pays homage to the statue of Our Lady that commemorates the proclamation of the dogma in 1854.

The statue of Our Lady stands above a 39-foot high ancient Roman column that dominates the bustling shopping area of Rome’s historic center. It was placed here on September 8, 1857, and commemorates Pope Pius IX’s proclamation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, which states that Mary was preserved exempt from all stain of original sin.  

The column and statue were erected with the help of 220 firemen, which is why the floral tributes always include a garland of flowers placed in Our Lady’s arms by a member of Rome’s fire department. The tradition of offering flowers to her image here on this feast day was begun by Pope Pius XII.

Traffic stopped and holiday-makers paused to catch a glimpse of Pope Francis as he arrived in Piazza di Spagna with his own massive bouquet of white roses which was placed at the foot of the column. Before singing the litanies of the Blessed Virgin, the Pope invoked Mary’s “maternal protection on us, our families, this city and the whole world.”

As we approach Christmas, he prayed, “teach us to go against the flow, to strip ourselves, to be humble and giving, to listen and be silent, to go out of ourselves, giving space to the beauty of God, source of true joy.”

The brief ceremony concluded with the Pope immediately putting into practice what he’d just said by spending time greeting groups of aged and disabled people — plus kissing several babies, of course.

Tags:
Pope FrancisVirgin Mary
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
Saint Mary of the Angels
Bret Thoman, OFS
All your sins will be forgiven if you go to a Franciscan church o...
2
Ignacio María Doñoro
Francisco Veneto
The military chaplain who pretended to be a criminal to rescue a ...
3
CARLO ACUTIS
Violeta Tejera
Carlo Acutis’ first stained glass window in jeans and sneak...
4
JEDZENIE
Theresa Civantos Barber
The one thing we all should do before this summer ends
5
Philip Kosloski
Most priests can’t absolve these sins
6
ANTENUCCI
Ary Waldir Ramos Diaz
1st Feast of Our Lady of Silence is August 1
7
Zelda Caldwell
World-record winning gymnast Simone Biles leans on her Catholic f...
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.