The centuries-old icon Salus Populi Romani (Protectress, or Health, of the Roman People) is one of the most popular images of the Virgin Mary in the city of Rome and throughout Italy. Like many of the icons of the Madonna in this pose and style, pious legend claims that the image was painted by St. Luke on the dining room table of the Holy Family which is said to have been built by Christ himself while working in his father's shop. The original icon resides in the Borghese Chapel at the Basilica of St. Mary Major (Santa Maria Maggiore) in Rome, Italy.
Salus Populi Romani has had a significant role in papal celebrations and prayers for centuries, beginning with its reception from Constantinople by Pope Gregory the Great on the banks of the Tiber River. Pope St. Pius V processed through Rome with the icon in 1571, praying the rosary and asking Mary's intercession for the Christian naval fleet during the Battle of Lepanto. Pope Francis has shown a particular fondness for Salus Populi Romani, having clandestinely slipped out of Vatican City the morning after his papal election in 2013 to pray in front of the icon and frequenting St. Mary Major Basilica ever since then. Mirroring the actions of Pope St. Pius V, in September of 2013, Pope Francis brought Salus Populi Romani to St. Peter's Square for a solemn procession and vigil of fasting and prayer for an end to the civil war in Syria. On January 28th, 2018, the icon was presented to the people of Rome after a long and difficult restoration process that lasted several months and restored the brilliant gold and deep colors long tarnished by centuries of age and wear.
Our image comes as a fine art print under premium clear glass. Handcrafted in Steubenville, Ohio, this touching devotional piece is sure to be treasured for years to come!
~Sizes listed are for the print only~
( NW-4090-2 )