The All Nippon Airways (ANA) aircraft carrying Pope Francis Tokyo, touched down Tuesday evening at Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci Airport.
As has been a tradition with him before and after every apostolic visit abroad, the Pope visits Rome’s largest church dedicated to Our Lady.
Before returning to the Vatican from the airport, the Pope stopped at the Basilica of St Mary Major to offer a prayer of thanksgiving for the successful conclusion of his November 19-26 Apostolic Journey to Thailand and Japan.
Placing a bouquet of flowers before the ancient icon of the Virgin Mary venerated under the Latin title “Salus Populi Romani” (literally, health or salvation, of the Roman People), the Pope paused in a moment of silent prayer.
He was then driven to the Vatican.
The Pope who has a special devotion to Our Lady, first visited the Basilica of St. Mary Major as Pontiff on March 14, 2013, the day after his election.