Our Lady of Pompeii is the Patroness of my local Lay Dominican group, so this is very special to my brothers and sisters and me!  (Emphases mine.)

Pope to Give Golden Rose to Our Lady of Pompeii

Schedule for Sunday’s Visit Finalized

By Inmaculada Álvarez

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 13, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI will give a golden rose to Our Lady of Pompeii during a visit to her shrine scheduled for Sunday.

According to the program released today by the Holy See, the Pope will leave the Vatican by helicopter and arrive in Pompeii to celebrate Mass in the plaza outside the shrine.

Then, the Holy Father will offer a prayer to the Virgin and present her with a golden rose. He will then pray the midday Angelus.

His schedule for the one-day visit includes lunch with the bishops of the region, including Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, archbishop of Naples, who has just returned from a pilgrimage to Moscow, where he was invited by Orthodox Patriarch Alexy II.

Afterward, the Bishop of Rome will return to the plaza outside the shrine to pray the rosary and then will return to the Vatican by helicopter.

According to Archbishop Carlo Liberati, prelate of Pompeii, the Pope is expected to “entrust to the intercession of the Mother of the Lord the reflections and conclusions of the 12th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, which is under way in Rome and focused on the word of God in the life and mission of the Church.”

The Pompeii shrine was built in 1876 by Blessed Bartolo Longo, a promoter of devotion to the rosary. The shrine has an image of Our Lady to which many miracles and healings have been attributed.

Pope John Paul II made the most recent papal visit to the shrine, journeying there in 2003 to mark the 125th anniversary of the church’s dedication.

Related post: From satanist to Lay Dominican: Blessed Bartolo Longo