Pilgrims from many parts of Italy flocked to Rome, Dec. 8 to pay homage to the Virgin Mary - occasion of the Festival of the Immaculate Conception.
LV. Fireman's ladder being placed alongside statue column.
CU. Inscription at base of statue.
SV. Handing garlands of flowers to fireman on ladder.
SV. Other fireman look on.
ANGLE SHOT..Fireman up ladder with flower garlands.
SV. Children look on.
SV. Fireman almost at top of ladder alongside statue.
CU. Nuns are looking on.
SV. Placing of flowers on statue.
TV. Looking down on onlookers. PAN up to fireman alongside statue.
CU. Of statue, garland of flowers hanging from statue arm.
SV. Fireman on ladder salutes statue.
SV. Little girl gives flowers to fireman.
CU. Same flowers handed to fireman on ladder.
ANGLE SHOT.Fireman up ladder with flowers.
GV Fireman on ladder along side statue.
SV Large floral tribute in place at base of statue column.
SV High priest in prayer.
SV Large basket of flowers from Pope being placed in position.
CU Pope's coat of arms on basket ribbon.
SCU Mons Callori di Vignale in prayer.
LV Mass of floral tributes being placed in position.
STV Decorated statue.
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Background: Pilgrims from many parts of Italy flocked to Rome, Dec. 8 to pay homage to the Virgin Mary - occasion of the Festival of the Immaculate Conception.
Towering high above the City on a column in the Piazza di Spagna, the Virgin Mary's statue was the focal point of the day's festivities. As is customary, the first floral homage was made by the Rome Fire Brigade. Watched silently by the large crowds, a fireman scaled a ladder to the statue to place flowers at the foot of the Madonna. Then saluting smartly - the tiny figure begin his long downward journey.
This simple, but moving ceremony, signalled the start of the 'pilgrimage' as men, women and children placed their flowers at the base of the column.
Pope John XXIII, unable to attend the ceremony personally this year, sent his representative, Monseigneur Callori de Vignale, who placed a large basket of flowers, bearing the Pope's coat of arms, at the foot of the column.
Throughout the day, the floral homages continued to mark one of the most important pre-Christmas celebrations in the Roman Catholic Church calendar.