POPE CONFERS TITLE “DOCTOR UNITATIS” ON ST. IRENAEUS
The Vatican today issued Pope Francis’ Decree for the conferral of the title of Doctor of the Church on Saint Irenaeus of Lyons:
“Saint Irenaeus of Lyons, who came from the East, exercised his episcopal ministry in the West: he was a spiritual and theological bridge between Eastern Christians and westerners. His name, Irenaeus, expresses that peace that comes from the Lord and which reconciles, reintegrating into unity. For these reasons, after having received the opinion of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, with my Apostolic Authority I DECLARE him a Doctor of the Church with the title of Doctor unitatis. May the doctrine of such a great Master encourage more and more the path of all the Lord’s disciples towards full communion.”
MARY, SALUS POPULI ROMANI, IN “EXCELLENT” HEALTH AFTER A CHECK-UP
The papal basilica of St. Mary Major has announced that a conservation check has been carried out on the icon of Maria Salus Populi Romani. (vaticannews)
The routine work took place on Thursday morning, January 10, in the presence of the Archpriest of the Basilica, Cardinal Stanisław Ryłko.
Barbara Jatta, Director of the Vatican Museums, led the team of experts from the Painting Restoration Laboratory, who carried out the check-up.
After a brief moment of prayer, the ancient Roman icon was temporarily removed from its place above the altar in the Pauline Chapel.
The team then brought it to the Basilica’s Chapter Hall, where they verified that the icon remains in excellent condition.
Those present then prayed the noon Angelus, and returned the icon to its place in the chapel built in the 1613 by Pope Paul V (Camillo Borghese).
Turning to Our Lady in times of trouble
Tradition attributes the icon of Maria Salus Populi Romani (salvation of the Roman peoples) to the hand of St. Luke. The Roman Pontifical says the image was brought to Rome by St. Helena, the mother of the Emperor Constantine.
Ever since Medieval times, the image of Our Lady has been particularly venerated by the inhabitants of Rome who turn to her especially in moments of danger or disaster.
Pope Francis had the icon brought to St. Peter’s Square at the height of the initial wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, when on March 27, 2020 he held a special Urbi et Orbi blessing.
He also pays the icon of Our Lady a visit before and after his Apostolic Journeys abroad.
The icon underwent extensive restoration work in 2017 and was returned to the Basilica with great pomp on the feast of the Translation of Salus Populi Romani January 28, 2018, in a Mass celebrated by Pope Francis.