On Thursday March 14, 2013 the first day after he was elected, Pope Francis began his day and his Papacy by visiting St. Mary Major Basilica, the largest Catholic Marian church in Rome praying before the Byzantine icon of the Madonna, Salus Populi Romani--Protectress of the Roman People. The literal translation of Salus is safety/welfare/salvation. This is an early image of the Blessed Mother; based on a Theotokos attributed to St. Luke.
What does this simple act reveal?
He is a grateful person, offering thanksgiving.
He is a Marian person, presenting the Blessed Mother--as a real person (not just a picture/icon)--flowers.
He is a prayerful person. His actions stem from prayer.
St. Mary Major, Borghese Chapel with icon of Madonna