Pope Francis Returns to Public Veneration of Mary for Feast of Immaculate Conception

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To mark the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception on December 8, Pope Francis will place flowers at a statue of the Virgin Mary in Rome.

The tradition dates back to 1953 with Pope Pius XII. Normally, it is open to the public. But the last two years were different due to the coronavirus pandemic. In 2020 and 2021, Pope Francis made personal visits to the statue early in the morning without the public.

This year’s visit signals a return to normalcy. The Pope is scheduled to pray in front of the monument and leave flowers at a public ceremony.

This is a very special tradition for the people of Rome. It is one of the few times that the Pope makes a visit out in the city as the Bishop of Rome.