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The Column of the Immaculate Conception in Rome The Column of the Immaculate Conception in Rome 

Pope will not be in Piazza di Spagna for Immaculate Conception

Due to the ongoing health emergency, Pope Francis will not be going to Piazza di Spagna for the feast of the Immaculate Conception. Instead, the Holy Father will entrust the city of Rome, its inhabitants, and the many sick people throughout the world to the Blessed Virgin Mary in a private act of devotion.

By Vatican News staff reporter

For this year’s celebration of the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, Pope Francis will be entrusting the city of Rome and its inhabitants, as well as the many sick people throughout the world, to the maternal care of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The act of devotion will be undertaken privately, according to a statement issued on Monday by the Director of the Holy See Press Office.

In his statement, Matteo Bruni explained that the decision not to go to Piazza di Spagna on the afternoon of the feast was due to the ongoing health emergency, “and is intended to avoid all risk of contagion caused by gatherings.”

The traditional act of veneration

It is the custom for the reigning pontiff to make the trip from the Vatican to Rome’s Piazza di Spagna each year on December 8, the feast of the Immaculate Conception. The Solemnity celebrates the “singular grace and privilege” by which “the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instant of her conception… in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the saviour of the human race, was preserved from all stain of original sin.”

The dogma of the Immaculate Conception was believed by the Church from the very beginning, but was only formally defined in 1854 by Blessed Pope Pius IX. In 1857, a commemorative column was raised Piazza Mignanelli, close to the Spanish steps in Rome. The tradition of the Pope visiting the square on the feast dates back to 1953.

30 November 2020, 14:07