Our Lady of Pompeii

The Miraculous Picture of Pompeii

Pompeii is a ruined Roman city near Naples in the Italian region of Campania, in the territory of the commune of Pompei. This city was destroyed by the volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. The city that developed about a mile from these ruins was also subjected to tragedy when it was ravaged in 1659 by a widespread epidemic of malaria that killed most of the population.

Bartolo Longo was born in 1841 in Laziano, Italy as the son of a doctor and a devout Catholic mother. His mother ensured from an early age that Bartolo developed a great love for Our Lady through praying the Rosary. In 1871, Bartolo became a third order Dominican and took the name Brother Rosary.

In 1872, Bartolo arrived in marshy Pompeii, accompanied by two armed escorts to protect him from bandits that overran the area. He was shocked and filled with great pity at the ignorance, poverty, and lack of religion of the inhabitants of the area. He was also struggling with his own doubts about his Christian faith. While walking through the parish on October 9, he distincly heard a voice say to him: "If you seek salvation, promulgate the Rosary. This is Mary's own promise". His generous heart was moved, and he promised Our Lady to do all in his power to promote devotion to the rosary among the people of the area. To this end, he set up rosary festivals, with games, races, and even a lottery to attract the people.

He started restoring a dilapidated church in October of 1873 and sponsored a festival in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary. In 1875 Longo obtained a well worn painting of Our Lady of the Rosary from a convent in Naples and raised funds to get the image restored so as to locate it in the church.


A young girl from Naples, Fortuna Agrelli, was suffering from a painful, incurable disease. She had been given up by the most celebrated physicians. On February 16, 1884, the afflicted girl and her relatives commenced a novena of Rosaries. The Queen of the Holy Rosary favoured her with an apparition on March 3rd. Mary, sitting upon a high throne, surrounded by luminous figures, held the Divine child on her lap, and in her hand a Rosary. The Virgin Mother and the holy Infant were clad in gold-embroidered garments. They were accompanied by St. Dominic and St. Catherine of Siena. Fortuna marveled at the beauty of Mary and asked her as “Queen of the Rosary,” for her cure. Mary replied that, since she had called her by a title that was so pleasing to her, she could not refuse her request; she then told her to make three novenas of the rosary to obtain all she asked for. The child was indeed cured, and soon after Mary appeared to her again saying: “Whosoever desires to obtain favors from me should make three novenas of the prayers of the Rosary in petition and three novenas in thanksgiving.” This is how the Rosary Novena devotion to Mary originated.

In 1883, a sanctuary was built for the image and consecrated in 1891. Many miracles are attributed to the intercession of Our Lady of Pompeii. The image of Our Lady of Pompeii represents Our Lady of the Rosary as Queen of Heaven. She and her Son, Jesus, are handing out Rosaries to Saint Dominic and Saint Catherine of Siena. The Pompeii portrait is derived from the Eastern icon style of the 6th century.

On October 21, 1979, Pope John Paul II visited Pompei. The gathering was a national pilgrimage to Our Lady of Pompei. On October 26, 1980, Bartolo Longo was beatified by John Paul II and called "Man of the Rosary" and the "Apostle of the Rosary."


Novena to Our Lady of Pompeii

V. O God, come unto my assistance; 
R. O Lord, make haste to help me.
V. Glory be to the Father, etc.
R. As it was in the beginning, etc.

1. Behold me at thy knees, Immaculate Mother of Jesus, who dost rejoice at being invoked as Queen of the Rosary in the Vale of Pompeii. With joy in my heart, and my mind filled with the most lively gratitude, I return to thee who art my most generous benefactor, my dearest Lady, the Queen of my heart, to thee who hast shown thyself my true Mother, the Mother who loves me exceedingly. I was filled with groanings and thou didst hear my cry; I was in affliction and thou didst comfort me; I was in the valley of the shadow of death and thou didst bring me peace. The sorrows and pains of death laid siege to my soul, and thou, dear Mother, from thy throne in Pompeii with one look of pity didst make me serene. Who bath ever turned to thee with confidence and hath not been heard ? If only the whole world knew thy great goodness, thy tender compassion for those who suffer, how all creation would have recourse to thee! Mayest thou be ever blessed, O Virgin and Queen of Pompeii, by me and by all others, both men and Angels, on earth and in Heaven.

Glory Be to the Father; Hail, Holy Queen

2. I return thanks to God and to thee, O Mother of God, for the fresh blessings that have been showered upon me through thy pity and loving-kindness. What a fate would mine have been, hadst thou rejected my sighs and tears! Let the Angels in Paradise, the glorious choir of the Apostles, the noble army of the Martyrs, the holy bands of Virgins and Confessors give thee thanks in my behalf. Let the many souls of sinners, saved by thine intercession, who now enjoy in Heaven the vision of thine unfading loveliness, give thanks to thee in my behalf. I would that all creatures might love thee in union with me, and that the whole world might repeat the refrain of my hymns of thanksgiving. What can I render to thee, O Queen, rich in mercy and magnificence? What remains of life I dedicate to thee and to the spreading of thy devotion, O Virgin of the Rosary of Pompeii, through whose invocation the grace of the Lord hath visited me. I will spread abroad devotion to thy Rosary, I will tell all men of the mercies thou hast obtained for me; I will ever more proclaim thy great goodness toward me, so that other sinners, as unworthy as I, may turn to thee in all confidence.

Glory Be to the Father; Hail, Holy Queen

3. By what name shall I invoke thee, thou white dove of peace? Under what title shall I call upon thee whom the holy Doctors have named the Mistress of creation, the gate of life, the temple of God, the palace of light, the glory of the heavens, the Saint of saints, the wonder of wonders, the paradise of the Most High God? Thou art the treasurer of divine graces, the omnipotent answer to prayer, nay, the very mercy of God, which is shown toward the unfortunate. But I know, too, that it is pleasing to thy heart to be invoked as Queen of the Rosary in the Vale of Pompeii. And as I hail thee by this title, I perceive the sweetness of thy mystic name, O rose of paradise, transplanted into this valley of tears, to sweeten our miseries who are banished children of Eve; red rose of charity, more fragrant than all the spices of Libanus, who by the perfume of thy heavenly sweetness dost draw the hearts of sinners to the Heart of God in this thy valley of Pompeii. Thou art the rose of eternal freshness, watered by the streams of water from Heaven; thou hast set thy roots in a land parched by a rain of fire; thou art a rose of spotless beauty , who in a place of desolation hast planted a garden of the delights of the Lord. May God be praised, who hath made thy name so wonderful! Bless, O ye peoples, bless the name of the Virgin of Pompeii, for all the earth is full of her loving-kindness.

Glory Be to the Father; Hail, Holy Queen 

 4. In the midst of the tempests which have overwhelmed me, I have lifted up mine eyes to thee, thou new star of hope that hath risen in these latter days above the valley of ruin. From the depths of my bitterness I have lifted up my voice to thee, O Queen of the Rosary of Pompeii, and I have felt the power of that title so dear to thee. Hail, I shall ever cry, hail to thee, thou Mother of pity, fathomless ocean of grace, sea of goodness and compassion! Who shall be worthy to sing the new glories of thy Rosary, the fresh victories of thy chaplet? In this valley, where Satan devoured souls in olden times, thou hast prepared salvation for a world, that is tearing itself from the loving arms of Jesus in order to cast itself into the deadly embrace of Satan. Triumphantly dost thou trample underfoot the fragments of pagan temples, and upon the ruins of ancient idolatry thou hast established the throne of thine imperial sway. Thou hast changed the valley of death into a valley of resurrection and life; and in a land once dominated by thine enemy, thou hast built a city of refuge, where thou dost receive thy people in safety. Behold, thy children, scattered throughout the world, have erected thy throne there, as a witness to thy miracles, as a memorial of thy mercies. From that throne thou hast called me to be among the sons of thy predilection; upon poor me thy merciful glance hath rested. May thy works be praised for ever, O Blessed Lady, and praised be the marvels wrought by thee in this valley of desolation and death.

Glory Be to the Father; Hail, Holy Queen 

5; Let every tongue speak of thy glory, dear Lady, and let the harmonious accord of our praises sound from evening even to the morning. May all generations call thee blessed and may all the coasts of earth and all the mansions of Heaven re-echo the hymn of praise. Nay, I will call thee thrice blessed, in union with the Angels and Principalities; thrice blessed, with the angelical Powers, with the Virtues of heaven, with the supernal Dominations; most blessed will I proclaim thee with the Thrones, with the Cherubim and Seraphim. O Queen of salvation, cease not to turn thine eyes in pity upon this thy family, upon this nation, upon the Church universal. Above all, deny me not the greatest of graces; that is, let not my frailty ever separate me from thee. Grant that I may persevere even to the end in the love and faith wherewith my soul is on fire at this moment. Grant, also, that all of us, who come together in the beauty of thy sanctuary in Pompeii, may be of the number of the elect. O chaplet of the Rosary of my Mother , I press thee to my breast and I kiss thee in a spirit of profound reverence. Thou art the way that leads to the attainment of every virtue, the treasure of merits for paradise, the pledge of my predestination, the mighty chain that binds fast the enemy of our salvation, a source of peace to all who give thee due honor in this life, and a foretaste of victory to those who kiss thee at the hour of death. In that last hour, I shall look to thee, O Mother; thy coming will be the sign of my salvation, thy Rosary will open to me the gates of paradise. Amen.

Glory Be to the Father; Hail, Holy Queen

V. Pray for us, O Queen of the most holy Rosary;
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray:

O God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who hast taught us to come to Thee with confidence and to call Thee: Our Father, Who art in Heaven, ah! good Lord, to whom it belongeth to have mercy and to pardon, graciously hear us through the intercession of the Immaculate Virgin Mary, for we glory in the title of children of the Rosary; accept our humble thanks for the gifts we have received from Thee; and do Thou make the shrine which Thou hast set up in the sanctuary of Pompeii, every day more glorious and more lasting, through the merits of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it
was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

HAIL HOLY QUEEN (Salve, Regina)

Hail, holy Queen, Mother of mercy; hail our life, our sweetness and our hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, most gracious Advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us. And after this our exile show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.