.- On Saturday evening, during the prayer of the Rosary before the grotto of Lourdes, Pope John Paul called Christians to pray for more priestly and religious vocations and challenged them to change the world starting âfrom the inside,â meaning personal conversion.
âKneeling here, before the grotto of Massabielle, I feel deeply that I have reached the goal of my pilgrimage. This cave, where Mary appeared, is the heart of Lourdes.â
âIt reminds us of the cave of Mount Horeb where Elijah met the Lord, who spoke to him in âa still small voiceââ, the Pope said.
âAs pilgrims to Lourdes âhe added,- we too wish this evening to retrace in prayer, together with Mary our Mother,â âWe wish to learn from the lowly handmaid of the Lord an attitude of docility and openness to the word of God and a generous commitment to welcoming Christâs teaching into our lives.â
Before starting the prayer of the Rosary, the Pontiff invited Christians âto pray for vocations to the priesthood and to virginity for the Kingdom of God, so that all those who are called will respond with generosity and perseveranceâ.
After the Rosary, the Holy Father addressed a personal prayer to Our Lady of Lourdes, asking her among other things to âbe our guide along the paths of the world.â
âTeach us to experience and to spread the love of Christ, to stand with you before the innumerable crosses on which your Son is still crucified,â he prayed.
The Pontiff also asked the Virgin to âteach us to build up the world beginning from within: in the depths of silence and prayer, in the joy of fraternal love, in the unique fruitfulness of the Cross.â
Read the Popeâs full prayer at: