The beautiful icon known as “Salus Populi Romani” (“Salvation of the Roman People”) is one of the Marian paintings attributed to St. Luke himself, one of the four Gospel-writers.
St. Helena is said to have brought it to Rome after she visited Jerusalem.
Good thing she did. A devastating plague struck Rome in the 6th century. Entire families died from it.
Over Easter, Pope Gregory the Great held a great procession through the streets of the city, led by the beloved Salus Populi Romani image. While everyone was praying, they suddenly heard angels singing the resurrection hymn Regina Caeli.
After listening to the angels, the Pope sang the last line back to them: “Ora pro nobis Deum (pray for us to God).”
St. Michael appeared, sheathing his sword. After that the plague ceased.
Since then, the icon has been revered as a miraculous image. Today it resides in the Basilica of Saint Mary Major. You don’t have to go all the way to Rome to enjoy its beauty, however! Cherish the Salus Populi Romani in your own home with this lovely, gold-framed reproduction. Get yours today at The Catholic Company!