Pompei (Agenzia Fides) - “On 5 November 2003, when Pope John Paul II appointed me Bishop of Pompei and Papal Delegate for the Shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary built in 1876 by Blessed Bartolo Longo, he asked me in the Bull of Nomination: <>.
Moreover, the Pope chose to close precisely here in Pompei, on 7 October 2003, the Year of the Rosary, announced on 16 October 2002 with the Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae. What is the reason for this bond between the Shrine of Pompei, dedicated to Our Lady of the Rosary, Pope John Paul II and Marian devotion? Because it was Mary who built Pompei. Without the Blessed Virgin Mary modern Pompei with its 28,000 people would not exist, there would be only the dead city excavated from the ashes of the Vesuvius. The new Pompei is a fruit of the conversion of layman, today Blessed, Bartolo Longo, around 1872, and the arrival in Pompei of the miraculous Icon, on 13 November 1875. This produced a trickle and then a stream and then an endless river of grace and holiness which saw the rising, as authentic miracles, of orphanages, institutes for the children of prisoners, homes for the elderly, printers, farms, publishers, schools of all grades. An abandoned valley around one of the most famous Marian shrines in the world is today an industrious city dedicated to Mary.
Bartolo Longo sung the praises of Mary: a Catholic, son of the holy People of God, a man of excellent theological culture and extraordinary Marian doctrine. We recall not only his famous Supplication (14 October 1883), one of the world’s best known Marian prayers, but also several Novenas to Immaculate Mary which still today are an almost unequalled splendour of theological culture, Marian love and devotion.
At the end of the 19th century, Longo promoted a collection involving about 4 million Catholics the world over and the money collected served to build in 1901 the solemn facade of the shrine which he dedicated to the universal peace of Christ. Peace born from divine grace and brotherly love and to protect his inspired project he wished for a splendid statue. Pompei is a place where people venerate the Most Holy Trinity, Immaculate Mary, preserved from original sin, the Mother of Jesus and the Church, the new Woman, model of holiness and hope of the world, the Queen of love and peace.
Obviously then, at the Shrine of Pompei la Novena to Immaculate Mary acquires an extraordinary role and thousands of faithful come from all over Campania to honour the Mother of Our Lord.” + Carlo Liberati, Papal Delegate and Bishop-Prelate of Pompei. (Agenzia Fides 7/12/2004 - righe 36; parole 521)