During a Mass honoring Our Lady of Almudena, the patroness of Madrid, Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela emphasized the importance of devotion to Mary and called on believers to open a place for her in their homes and to look to her as the model for families and the example of “the virtue of Christian strength.”
Before the more than 10,000 people gathered for Mass in Madrid’s main square, the cardinal called on Catholics to enter into the “school of Mary,” who is the “supreme model of contemplation and the admirable example of a fruitful, joyful and enriching interior life.”
Cardinal Rouco also enjoined the faithful to look to the Blessed Mother for encouragement in defending “the right and responsibility” of parents to “determine the moral and religious education that they wish their children to receive at school, in accord with their own convictions.”
The city of Madrid, he said, can only become a better place through “mutual and fraternal understanding” and greater “solidarity” among its residents. The cardinal’s statements were echoed by Madrid mayor Alberto Ruiz Gallardon, who pronounced the traditional invocation of the city, praying that the Spanish capital would be “a land of hope, in which each citizen discover an opportunity to be useful to himself and to others.”
The mayor also prayed to Mary that Pope Benedict XVI would soon visit Madrid and renew the ties of his predecessor with the Spanish capital.