Friday, June 25, 2010

Pope blesses 9-meter high 'Madonnina' from one of Rome's hills

Benedict XVI visited the Don Orione Center of the Roman neighborhood Monte Mario to bless the restored statue that collapsed last October during a heavy storm.

The 'Madonnina' is 9 meters high but sits on a pedestal of 19 meters.

Benedict XVI
“Shall the 'Madonnina'- as Romans like to call her- watch from up high the places of Rome's family life, civil and religious, protect families and inspires good things.”

The statue was put up in 1953 in accord with a popular vow. During World War II, the Romans promised to put her up if the bombs did not destroy the Eternal City.

Benedict XVI
“The Orionini wanted it to be big and that it was up high, to pay homage to the holiness of the Mother of God.”
The statue is the work of Jewish sculptor Arrigo Minerbi, who had to hide during racial persecution.

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