After having landed in Ciampino in the early afternoon and before returning to the Vatican, Pope Francis has visited the Roman basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, situated near Termini station, to thank the Vergin Mary for his journey to Mexico. Bergoglio offered the icon of Salus Populi Romani – traditionally attributed to St. Luke – a floral tribute which he placed on the altar.
Ever since he was elected, Francis has been visiting the Esquiline (the hill where the Archbasilica dedicated to the Virgin Mary is located) before and after his travels. On his way back to Rome, the Pope sent the usual telegrams to the overflown countries, thanking in particular the Mexican population for having welcomed him so warmly. In his message to the President of the Italian Republic, Bergoglio has pointed out that in Mexico he was able to meet “many of the faithful and representatives of those dear people, admiring their faith and desire for spiritual and social growth.” He ensures, therefore, “a special prayer for the wellbeing, serenity, and prosperity of the beloved Italian nation,” to which he sends his “loving blessing.”