A Marian chapel built into a car — called an “Autocappella” — received a blessing from Pope Francis yesterday just before the Wednesday general audience in St. Peter’s Square. The mobile chapel belongs to the “Marian Mission of the Rosary of the Shrine of Pompeii” and carries an icon of the Virgin of Pompeii to dioceses around the world. At the request of a diocese, the mission brings copies of the icon and organizes prayer and evangelization activities at parishes, schools, hospitals and prisons. So far, the mission has been to several countries including Italy, the United States, Canada, Australia and Malta. The original image of Our Lady of the Rosary of Pompeii is located in the town of Campania, an area located about five minutes away from the ruins of the city of Pompeii, which was destroyed in 79 A.D. by a volcano from Mt. Vesuvius. The car chapel is among the more interesting things Pope Francis has blessed during his time in the Petrine ministry, including a bishop’s bicycle during the Synod, a “knotted grotto” in Philadelphia, a kid-built satellite bound for space, and even the rains down in Africa (just kidding). There was a petition circulating prior to the Pope’s visit to the United States, asking him to bless the Metro in Washington, D.C. so that it would start working again, but the Pope was unable to do so during his visit.
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