|Our Lady of Silence|
It was a reminder to guests at his residence of one of his favorite invitations: drop the “sourpuss” scowl and radiate the true joy that comes from being loved by God.
Even his more formal visitors get a similar, more subtle, message as they enter the apostolic palace where the pope receives bishops and heads of state and holds other important gatherings.
Near the elevators people take to reach the papal study or meeting halls, the pope hung a copy of the icon of Our Lady of Silence — an image of Mary with her index finger poised gently in front of her closed lips.
“Just think how many Marian icons he gets (as gifts) and he decides to put this one there” as well as a smaller copy of one on his desk, said Capuchin Father Emiliano Antenucci, who commissioned the icon and gave a copy to the pope. The preferential treatment, the priest told Catholic News Service, shows the pope’s deep understanding of the importance of holy and humble silence.