GREENWICH- Pastors from all over the Diocese of Bridgeport are issuing pastoral letters and reflections to their faithful in this time of trial. One Pastor, Fr. La Pastina of St. Mary Parish in Greenwich, issued the following statement to his parishioners on the Parish Facebook page.
“I thought I would give you a closer view of the image I mentioned at the end of the Rosary tonight. It is a copy of the miraculous image of Our Lady called “Salus Populi Romani” or the Salvation of the Roman People. The original is in a side chapel of the Basilica of Saint Mary Major in Rome. The image got its name because in the 6th century Pope Gregory I carried the icon in procession through the streets of Rome begging the Virgin to end a plague. Our Lady granted the prayers of the Holy Father and the people of Rome. Since then the image has become the center of Marian devotion in the Eternal City.
It was to this same Church that Pope Francis went in pilgrimage yesterday to pray before Salus Populi Romani to protect Rome, Italy and the rest of the world.
I purchased this copy shortly after my ordination. I had the privilege of offering Mass before the sacred image and when I left the basilica some religious sisters across the street had this hand-painted copy in the window. I purchased it and took it back into the Church to bless on the same altar where the original hangs.
Let us continue to beg the Mother of God who is our mother as well, to protect us from harm and bring us closer to her Son!”
God bless you and protect you,
Father La Pastina