By Vatican News
The papal plane touched down at Rome’s Ciampino airport in the early evening on Tuesday.
As he does after all visits abroad, Pope Francis made his way to the Basilica of St Mary Major to offer a prayer of thanksgiving for the successful conlcusion of his Apostolic Journey to southern Africa.
Placing a bouquet of flowers before the ancient icon of Maria Salus Populi Romani, the Pope paused for a moment to pray silently.
Then he returned by car to the Vatican for some much-needed rest.
Pope Francis spent the last 6 days making his 31st Apostolic Journey abroad, visiting Mozambique, Madagascar, and Mauritius.