Pope Francis, barely 12 hours after his election, quietly left the Vatican early on Thursday to pray for guidance at a Rome basilica as he looks to usher a Catholic Church mired in intrigue and scandal into a new age of simplicity and humility.
Francis went to the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, the oldest church in the world dedicated to the Madonna, where he prayed before a famous icon of the Madonna called the Salus Populi Romani, or Protectress of the Roman People."He spoke to us cordially like a father," said Father Ludovico Melo, a priest who prayed with the pope. "We were given 10 minutes' advance notice that the pope was coming".(Thanks to Rrorate Caeli:here)
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