Pope Benedict to bless statue created to celebrate Nazi departure
The statue of Mary known locally as "Madonnina."
The statue of Mary known locally as "Madonnina."
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- The Vatican announced Wednesday that this summer the Holy Father will visit and bless a restored statue of Mary that overlooks the city of Rome. The Virgin, which was created in thanks for the city being peacefully liberated from the Nazis during World War II, was damaged in a storm last year.

In 1953, the statue was placed on a hill near the Vatican in a part of Rome called Monte Mario to remember the intercession of the Virgin Mary in securing the peaceful liberation of the city from Nazi occupants during World War II.

A popular 1944 initiative promoted by the local religious community of "Orionini" in Rome promised "charity and faith" in exchange for the bloodless transition of the city from the hands of German soldiers. Over one million people signed the petition at the time and the vow was made publicly before a statue of Our Lady of Divine Love in St. Ignatius parish on June 4.

Following the departure of Nazi troops, which took place seven days after the public vow, Pope Pius XII celebrated Mass at the church, thanking the Virgin Mary for protecting the Eternal City and its inhabitants "against all human predictions."

After having been blown to the ground during a storm last October, the 30-foot tall gilded copper statue has been restored and repositioned atop its 60-foot tall pedestal.

Pope Benedict will make the short excursion outside the Vatican walls on June 24 to bless it and visit a local Dominican convent. After disaster struck last fall, he said he hoped the statue would be speedily replaced "for the devotion of all Romans."

The statue was designed by a Jewish sculptor named Arrigo Minerbi, who was protected by the "Orionini" during the War. Despite its size, it is referred to affectionately by Romans as the "Madonnina," or "little Madonna."

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Pope Francis in the Philippines: Manila Welcomes the Pope
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Highlights
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Interview with Cardinal Ranjith
Pope Francis in SriLanka: Inter-religious Faith Meeting
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day

Liturgical Calendar

January 30, 2015

Friday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mk 4:26-34


Daily Readings

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mk 4:26-34