«We are proud to officially confirm the news that on 24 November, Pope Paul VI will welcome the family of Ven. Fabbrica to the Vatican, celebrate the mass inside the Cappella Paolina and will distribute the Holy Communion.
It will be a unique event in the centuries-old history of Ven. Fabbrica for the honour granted to us, demonstrating how the Sacred Father has graciously appreciated the humble but willing collaboration provided to us during the eight years in which he was our bishop. It is an appreciation for this new display of gratitude in addition to the many moving acts of good will bestowed upon us by the then Card. Montini; lastly, motive for encouragement to further, with renewed commitment, our collaboration to the new Archbishop. We invite you to participate in the pilgrimage of Ven. Fabbrica with this spirit of intent. […]».
The former president of Veneranda Fabbrica, Achille Marazza, started his letter with these warm words, written to invite Fabbrica’s staff to participate in the hearing of 24 November 1963. It was a unique and special opportunity, so much so that 200 employees took part: from the youth of the musical chapel, to the staff of the Cave di Candoglia, all the way to the Milanese stonemasons.
The inspiring meeting was preceded by a celebrated mass in Ambrosiano ritual inside the Sistine Chapel, under the great Michelangelesque fresco, accompanied by chants of the Musical Chapel of Duomo directed by Mons. Luciano Migliavacca.
On this extraordinary occasion, the administration of Veneranda Fabbrica decided to give the Sacred Father a few commemorative medals of the pilgrimage and a statue of the Duomo, dating back to the 15th Century, depicting the archangel Raphael.
The sculpture was then placed in the Throne Room (Sala del Trono) in memory of the Pope’s greatly beloved Cathedral that he himself defined as «an invite to prayer and a source of moving memories».