Candlelight vigil in Vatican celebrates Mary's faith, witness
By Kerri Lenartowick
Faithful pray in a special event dedicated to the Virgin Mary the Vatican Gardens on May 31, 2014. Credit: Daniel Ibáñez/CNA.
Faithful pray in a special event dedicated to the Virgin Mary the Vatican Gardens on May 31, 2014. Credit: Daniel Ibáñez/CNA.

.- Hundreds of clergy, religious, and laity processed through the Vatican gardens in a candlelight vigil on Saturday evening to mark the close of a month traditionally dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

Led by Cardinal Angelo Comastri, the pilgrims prayed the rosary and sang Marian hymns as evening fell over the Vatican. Families with infants and small children processed alongside religious sisters and priests as meditations on the life of Christ were read.

Cardinal Comastri began the procession by reading a passage from Pope Francis’ recent encyclical, Evangelii Gaudium. Mary is “the mother of the evangelizing Church and without her we cannot fully understand the spirit of the new evangelization,” he reminded the faithful gathered behind the St. Peter’s Basilica on May 31.

As the crowds walked slowly up the hill behind the Church of St. Stephen of the Abyssinians, the echoes of the “Ave Maria” being sung between decades of the rosary rang out. Candles were raised high at each refrain of the angel Gabriel’s words to Mary at the annunciation.

Pope Francis joined the crowds gathered for prayer in the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes, where he offered a short reflection on the gospel passage that had been proclaimed - the story of Mary’s visitation to her cousin Elizabeth.

The Holy Father meditated on Mary’s ready willingness to serve others.

“The gospel says that after the annunciation of the angel, she went ‘in haste,’” he recalled.

“She didn’t lose time. Immediately, she went to serve. She is the ‘Virgin of readiness,’ the ‘Madonna of readiness,’ immediate and ready to give us help when we pray, when we ask her help, her protection, her favor.”

The Pope noted that Mary’s prompt action in the gospel should inspire Christians to ask for her aid.

“In many moments of life in which we need her help, her protection, remember that she doesn’t wait - she is the ‘Madonna of readiness’ - immediately going to serve.”

The prayer vigil in the grotto also included the chanting of Mary’s song of praise, the Magnificat, and prayers of intercession for the Pope and the whole Church.

A prayer of Pope Francis for Mary’s intercession concluded the evening.

“Star of the new evangelization, help us to shine with the testimony of communion, of service, of ardent and generous faith, in justice and in love for the poor, so that the joy of the gospel may reach to the ends of the earth and no periphery may be deprived of its light.”

Tags: Vatican, Virgin Mary, Rosary, Pope Francis

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family
Saint John Paul II on cartoon

Liturgical Calendar

July 28, 2014

Monday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:31-35


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Jer 13: 1-11
Gospel:: Mt 13: 31-35

Saint of the Day

St. Victor I, Pope »


Homily of the Day

Mt 13:31-35


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: