Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Thursday 22 April |
Saint of the Day: Bl. Ndoc Suma
home iconChurch
line break icon

Is an icon in the elevator the pope uses every day inspiring his prayer?

The virgin of silence

Public Domain

I.Media for Aleteia - published on 01/08/18

The Virgin Mary gives Francis a daily reminder on the need for silence, and it seems he's taking note.

In the elevator used every morning by Pope Francis, an icon of Our Lady of Silence can be found. Made by the religious of Lake Orta, Italy, it seems that this Virgin has particularly inspired the Holy Father in his recent speeches.

The icon, inspired by a Byzantine image, represents the Virgin Mary holding her index finger to her lips. It was painted by the Benedictines from the convent of Mater Ecclesiae, on the island of San Giulio in the middle of Lake Orta, in the north of Italy, noted the Italian newspaper La Stampa on January 3.

The Virgin says no to gossip, explained the Pope in a speech last October 21 to visiting Brazilian seminarians, as this sin, which the pope says is a type of terrorism destroying a person’s reputation secretly, like a bomb, puts an end to priestly fraternity.

Silence during Mass

Then in the general audience of December 20, continuing his catechesis on the meaning of the Mass, the pontiff spoke of the importance of silence in the Eucharistic celebration. He urged the faithful to arrive early for Mass, and rather than chatting with a neighbor, to have a “moment of silence,” to prepare ourselves for the “encounter with Jesus.”

Finally, in his Mass on January 1, 2018, the pope strongly encouraged the congregation to take some time in silence before the Nativity scene, like the Virgin Mary, to allow Jesus “to speak to our heart.”


Read more:
Advice for 2018: Shut up about what you don’t really know


Read more:
Silence: A challenging but valuable discipline

Pope Francis
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 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
Cerith Gardiner
New study shows that these 2 childhood habits make you a happier ...
Philip Kosloski
5 Fascinating facts about Jesus in the Eucharist
Bret Thoman, OFS
“Jesus, you take care of it”: Prayer of a priest Padr...
Bret Thoman, OFS
What Padre Pio saw in the Spanish Flu of 1918
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio’s favorite prayer of petition
Eric Clapton, Luciano Pavarotti, East London Gospel Choir
J-P Mauro
Hear Clapton and Pavarotti sing a prayer to the “Holy Mothe...
Philip Kosloski
Catholic prayers for anxiety
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.