At 8:00 p.m. yesterday, the Feast of the Visitation of Mary, the traditional end-of-May procession took place from the church of St. Stephen of the Abyssinians to the Grotto of Lourdes in the Vatican Gardens, during which the faithful prayed the rosary. At the end of the ceremony, Archbishop Leonardo Sandri, substitute for General Affairs, read a message from the Pope.
In his message, the Holy Father writes that this year the feast of the Visitation is being celebrated the day after Pentecost, “and this brings us to think of the wind of the Spirit driving Mary, and with her the Church, along the paths of the world, so making Christ, the hope of humanity, known to everyone.”
In his message the Pope affirms that the flames of the candles carried during the procession “stand for the hope that Christ, Who died and rose again, gave humanity.”
“Always be bearers of that light,” exhorted John Paul II, “Indeed, as the Lord told his disciples, be lights yourselves in your own homes, in all situations and in all circumstances of life. Be so with your faithful evangelical witness, following each day the school of Mary, the perfect disciple of her divine Son.”