While the mention of Pompeii conjures the ruins of the ancient Roman city destroyed by the eruption of Mt Vesuvius in 79AD, more than a million pilgrims who visit Pompeii each year are drawn not to the ruins but the Pontifical Shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary of Pompeii.
The pinnacle of the shrine, one of Italy’s most revered, is its image of Our Lady of the Rosary of Pompeii, which returned to Sydney earlier this month.
The Marian image, usually found hanging over the high altar of the shrine, has been credited with a series of miraculous events as a result of prayers for Our Lady’s intercession.
The parish of St Fiacre, Leichhardt, displayed the icon from 14-17 April, drawing hundreds of parishioners and visitors for prayer and veneration. It was uncovered more than 130 years ago and was painted as a derivation of the Eastern icon type traced back to the sixth century.
The image of Our Lady of the Rosary of Pompeii last visited Sydney in November 2011, and was displayed at St Mary’s Cathedral.