The image of the miraculous Christ that Pope Francis visited on March 16 in the Roman church of Saint Marcellus to pray for the end of the coronavirus was removed from his altar and transported to Saint Peter’s Square, so that he can be present on Friday during the Urbi et Orbi blessing of the Holy Father.
Vatican journalist Francesco Antonio Grana confirmed to CNA – the ACI Group’s English agency – that the crucifix was removed on Wednesday by Vatican personnel at 6:30 pm (Rome time) from the “San Marcello al Corso” church, which dates back to 5th century, to be temporarily installed in St. Peter’s Square.
This sculpture was venerated as miraculous by the Romans after being the only religious image that remained intact after the fire that completely destroyed the church on May 23, 1519.
Less than three years later, Rome was devastated by the “black plague”. At the request of the faithful, the miraculous Christ was taken in a procession from the Convent of the Servants of Mary, on Via del Corso, to St. Peter’s Square, stopping in all Roman neighborhoods. The procession lasted 16 days, from 4 to 20 August 1522. When the crucifix was returned to São Marcelo, the plague disappeared completely from the city.
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