Marking Mary’s month in Rome

By Bridget Kelly
Catholic News Service

Women pray at a Marian shrine in Rome’s Trastevere neighborhood. (CNS/Bridget Kelly)

ROME — The month of May is associated with motherhood and new life, and the church dedicates the month to honoring and praising the Virgin Mary. Marian shrines in Rome receive special attention during the spring season because devotees and pilgrims visit the shrines, leaving flowers and gifts for the Madonna.

Street-corner shrines in Rome honor Mary and are places of prayer and thanksgiving. The Marian shrines are built into walls and the sides of buildings, allowing those who pass by to view the Madonna from various angles. Each shrine is unique and varied in color, size and shape.

Stories of miracles surround some of the “Madonnelle” shrines and are very popular with pilgrims who tend to pray the rosary at the sites. Faithful Romans visit their neighborhood shrine daily and offer thanksgiving. They also leave flowers and light candles at the shrines in order to thank and honor the Virgin.

Bridget Kelly is an intern in the CNS Rome bureau while she attends Villanova University’s Rome program. Her video story on the street shrines can be found here.

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