Hundreds of people waited for him at St. Mary Major, as well as the archpriest of the basilica, Spanish Cardinal Santos Abril. He thanked the Pope for choosing his Church to pray his first public rosary.
CARD. SANTOS ABRIL Y CASTELLO
Archpriest of the Basilica of St. Mary Major
"This prayer will push us to go beyond the religious and human peripheries, where there are so many spaces to fill and accompany. It will help us live closer to the heart of the Pope, who has come from the ends of the world, the immense world of the Pampa. We find ourselves united to the great love of the Salus Populi Romani, identified with his beloved Mother of Lujan.”
Pope Francis and Cardinal Santos Abril has been friends for years, when Abril was a nuncio to Argentina, and Cardinal Bergoglio the archbishop of Buenos Aires.
"I thank you my brother and friend. A friendship that began in that country at the ends of the world.”
The Pope prayed the rosary before this icon of the Virgin Mary, which is known as the Salus Populi Romani, which means the Salvation of the Roman People, and is one of the oldest in the city.
Speaking before the patroness of Rome, the Pope talked about the importance of mothers in their child's education.
"A mother helps her children look at life's problems realistically, and not dwell on them, but to face them with courage, and not to be weak and to know how to overcome them.”
Before returning to the Vatican, the Pope greeted several of the pilgrims gathered at the Roman basilica, and asked them to pray for him three Hail Mary's.