The pope left the Vatican for an hour and a half to pray before the icon of Mary, Salus Populi Romano, or Salvation of the Roman people, in the Basilica of St. Mary Major. Pope Francis usually prays to her before leaving for his apostolic trips.
After praying there, he went to the church of San Marcello al Corso, near Rome's central Piazza Venezia, to pray before an ancient crucifix considered miraculous. In 1522, it was carried in a procession through the streets of Rome and the plague in the city ended.
According to the Vatican, the pope prayed for 'the end of the pandemic.' He also 'implored the healing of so many sick people, remembered the numerous victims, and asked that their family and friends find comfort.'
He also prayed for 'health professionals, doctors, nurses, and those who, with their work, guarantee the continuation of society.'
The visit ended at around 5:30 pm Rome time.