At 18.00 this afternoon, at the conclusion of the Marian month, the Holy Father Francis presided over the recitation of the Holy Rosary for Peace before the statue of Mary Regina Pacis in the Basilica of Saint Mary Major in Rome.
The initiative, which came about at the Pope's behest, was promoted by the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization and involved a number of international shrines around the world along with several shrines located in countries affected by war or with strong political instability within them that is the cause of episodes of violence.
Supporting the Holy Father’s prayer were various categories of people representing the People of God: boys and girls who received their First Communion and Confirmation in the past weeks, Scouts, families of the Ukrainian Community of Rome, representatives of the Gioventù Ardente Mariana (GAM), members of the Vatican Gendarmerie Corps and the Pontifical Swiss Guard, and the three parishes in Rome named after the Virgin Mary Queen of Peace, along with Members of the Roman Curia.
A Ukrainian family, people related to war victims and a group of military chaplains with their respective Corps took turns in prayer.
At the end of the recitation of the Rosary, Pope Francis paused briefly in prayer before the Icon of the Virgin Salus Populi Romani.
Then, after leaving the Basilica of Saint Mary Major, the Holy Father returned by car to the Casa Santa Marta.