Pope Francis, Mary and the Urbi et Orbi


Pope Francis 2Pope Francis in his initial remarks following his papal election led those gathered at the Vatican and those watching on television or online, and listening via radio in a prayer for Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, asking the Lord to bless him and Our Lady to protect him.  The prayers he led were traditional prayers, the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be.

In the Urbi et Orbi blessing the intercession of Mary, ever-virgin was invoked along with the intercession of St. Michael and St. Paul.

After the blessing, Pope Francis shared that tomorrow he wanted to go and pray to the Madonna, that she would protect Rome.

Pope Francis has followed his successors by calling upon the intercession of the Virgin Mary.  It is interesting to note that in the English translations thus far, he specifically addressed Mary’s protective role.  He wanted us to ask Our Lady to protect Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, and he wants to go and pray to the Madonna that she would protect Rome.

Mary has often been hailed as a protectress.  For example, she is often invoked as the protectress of the unborn and the protectress of the faith.  Of a more interesting note, in Rome the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore is home to the Shrine of Our Lady Protectress of Rome.  Furthermore, by wanting to go and pray to the Madonna, Pope Francis acknowledges the importance of pilgrimages, in this case, Marian pilgrimages.  Given that he wants to ask Mary to protect Rome, it may be fitting for him to pray at Santa Maria Maggiore.

My new blog, Mary and the Pope, over the next several years of Pope Francis’ papacy will chronicle and analyze the Marian references and devotion of Pope Francis.  Be assured that if and when Pope Francis makes a pilgrimage to invoke Mary’s intercession, I will cover it.

Now that we know who our new Holy Father is, I will begin researching the Mariology of Pope Francis as Cardinal Bergoglio.


About Author

Edward Looney is a seminarian for the Diocese of Green Bay, Wisconsin and is a second year theologian at the University of St. Mary of the Lake—Mundelein Seminary. In 2011, he earned a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Philosophy, cum laude, from Conception Seminary College in Conception, Missouri. He is an associate member of the Mariological Society of America and has researched and written on various topics in Mariology. More specifically, he has researched, written, and spoken about the 1859 Marian apparition received by Adele Brise which is the first and only US approved apparition. He is the author of "The Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help—A Self-Guided Tour," a children’s book, "The Story of Sister Adele", and a rosary reflection book, "Praying the Rosary with Sister Adele". All are available from Tau Publishing. Visit Edward's personal website at: http://www.edwardlooney.com