Vatican had announced that pontiff would not be making traditional pilgrimage to avoid covid-19 contagion among crowds.
Pope Francis made a surprise visit to the statue of the Immaculate Conception near the Spanish Steps in central Rome at 07.00 on Tuesday 8 December.
La sorpresa di #PapaFrancesco a #piazzadispagna a #Roma per L a tradizionale cerimonia dell’#8dicembre, prima che i #vigilidelfuoco salissero con l’autoscala su, fino a 27 metri d’altezza, per donare alla #Madonna la corona di fiori @Pontifex_it pic.twitter.com/r9TB3iQGPK
— Vigili del Fuoco (@emergenzavvf) December 8, 2020
Pope Francis was photographed wearing a mask and holding a black umbrella, his head bowed in prayer.
The pope brought a bouquet of white roses which he laid at the base of the column, in a papal tradition dating back to 1953.
After his visit to Piazza di Spagna the pope travelled to the Basilica di S. Maria in Maggiore where he celebrated Mass in the chapel of the Nativity before returning to the Vatican.
Photo Vatican News
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Rome: Pope Francis makes surprise dawn visit to Immaculate Conception statue in heavy rain
Piazza Mignanelli, 00187 Roma RM, Italy