To mark the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Britain the Friends of the London Oratory, with the support of the Marco Besso foundation, put on a special exhibition in St Wilfred’s Hall.
On display were hand-coloured engravings by the Maltese artist Salvatore Busuttil illustrating a Corpus Christi procession in St Peter’s Square during the pontificate of Pope Gregory XVI (1831-1846). These processions took place after the first Sunday of Pentecost as a form of devotion to the Eucharist, affirming the Real Presence. They became popular in the 13th century. The pictures also illustrate the costumes of the period and the splendour of the papal court before the Risorgimento.
Salvatore Busuttil (1798-1854) studied at the Accademia Nazionale di San Luca in Rome and painted the altarpiece of St Gregory Interceding with the Virgin for the Plague-stricken in the church at Kercem in Malta.
Gregory XVI issued the encyclical denouncing slavery In Supremo Apostolatus.