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Archive of December 9, 2006

Pope prays that mankind might give their "yes" like Mary

Rome, Italy, Dec 9, 2006 (CNA) - After praying the Angelus in St. Peter’s Square today, Pope Benedict XVI, traveled to the Spanish Steps to lay flowers at the base of the Marian statue which sits in the middle of the Piazza di Spagna.  During the trip, the tradition for which began not long after Pope Pius IX declared Mary the “Immaculate Conception,” the Holy Father offered a prayer for Rome, Italy, and the entire world through Mary’s intercession.  

Pope Benedict prayed that Mary might teach, “us to pronounce our ‘yes’ to the will of the Lord,” a “yes” which like hers is a “yes” without reserve and without shadow, for the salvation of the world.

The Holy Father arrived in an open topped sedan, wearing an ermine-trimmed red cape and Pontifical stole over his white cassock, and waved to the cheering crowds which packed the streets near the piazza.

Following a reading from the Letter of St. Paul to the Galatians, and a reading from the Vatican II document “Lumen Gentium,” the Holy Father prayed in front of the statue, ‘Full of Grace’, you are, Mary, who in welcoming with your ‘yes’ the Creator’s plans, have opened the path of salvation. At your school teach us also to pronounce our “yes” to the will of the Lord. A ‘yes’ that is joined to your ‘yes’ unreservedly and without shadow, from which the Heavenly Father willed to desire in order to generate the New Man, the Christ, the one and only Savior of the World and History.”  

Give us the courage to say “no” to the illusions of power, money, pleasure; to dishonest riches, to corruption and hypocrisy, to selfishness and violence.  “No” to the evil one, the prince who deceives this world. “Yes” to Christ who destroys the power of evil with all-mighty love. We know that only the hearts converted by Love, which is God, can build a better future for all,” the Pontiff said in his second year to visit this image as the Successor of Peter.

Below is a translation of the complete prayer offered by the Holy Father in Italian:

“O Mary, Immaculate Virgin,
 
“again this year we meet with filial love at the foot of this your image to renew the tribute of the Christian community and of the city of Rome.  Here we pause in prayer, according the tradition begun by previous Popes, on the solemn day in which the liturgy of your Immaculate Conception is celebrated, mystery that is a font of joy and hope for all the redeemed. We greet You and call upon You with the words of the Angel, ‘Full of Grace’ (Lk 1, 28), the most beautiful name with which God Himself has called You for all eternity.

“’Full of Grace’, you are, Mary, filled with divine love from the first instant of Your existence, providentially predestined to be the Mother of the Redeemer, and intimately associated with Him in the mystery of Salvation. In your Immaculate Conception shines the vocation of the disciples of Christ, called to be made, with His grace, holy and without blemish in love.  In you shines the dignity of all humanity, which is always precious in the eyes of the Creator. Whoever directs their gaze to you, oh Mother Most Holy, does not lose serenity, however harsh the trials of their life may be. Even though the experience of sin is sad, defacing the dignity of God’s children, whosoever turns to You rediscovers the beauty of truth and love, and finds again the path that leads to the house of the Father.

“‘Full of Grace’, you are, Mary, who in welcoming with your ‘yes’ the Creator’s plans, have opened the path of salvation. At your school teach us also to pronounce our ‘yes’ to the will of the Lord. A ‘yes’ that is joined to your ‘yes’ unreservedly and without shadow, from which the Heavenly Father willed to desire in order to generate the New Man, the Christ, the one and only Savior of the World and History. Give us the courage to say ‘no’ to the illusions of power, money, pleasure;  to dishonest riches, to corruption and hypocrisy, to selfishness and violence.  ‘No’ to the evil one, the prince who deceives this world. ‘Yes’ to Christ who destroys the power of evil with all-mighty love. We know that only the hearts converted by Love, which is God, can build a better future for all.

“‘Full of Grace,’ you are, Mary! Your name is for all generations guarantee of sure hope. Yes! Because, as the great poet Dante wrote, for us mortals you, ‘are from hope a living font.’ At this font, at the spring of Your Immaculate Heart, we come once more as trusting pilgrims to draw faith and consolation, joy and love, security and peace.

“Virgin ‘full of grace’, show Yourself as a tender and caring Mother for the people of this city, so that the authentic evangelical spirit may animate and direct their deeds; show Yourself a Mother and watchful guardian for Italy and Europe, so that from their ancient Christian roots the people might know how to draw new life to build their present and their future; show Yourself as a providing and merciful Mother for the entire world, so that, in respect for human dignity and in the repudiation of all forms of violence and exploitation, they might create solid bases for the civilization of love. Show Yourself Mother especially for those who need it most: for the defenseless, the marginalized and the excluded, for the victims of a society that too often sacrifices man to other purposes and interests.

“Show Yourself Mother of all, O Mary, and give us Christ, the hope of the world! ‘Monstra Te esse Matrem,’ O Immaculate Virgin, full of grace! Amen!”

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