The Holy Father prayed the Regina Caeli after Mass in Turin's St. Charles Square on Sunday. Saying Mary teaches us to recognize the face of God in Jesus’ human face, Pope Benedict asked for her intercession for workers, those in jail and all believers.
Pope Benedict made a Pastoral Visit to the city that was once the capital of Italy this Sunday, in particular to visit the Shroud of Turin which is on temporary exposition in the Cathedral of Turin. An estimated 50,000 people accompanied him, both in the square and by way of enormous television screens in other parts of the city center, for the celebration of the morning Mass and the Marian prayer that followed.
To Mary, said the Holy Father before the recitation of the Regina Caeli, "I entrust this city and all who live here."
Speaking the day after Italy celebrated the feast of St. Joseph the Worker, he implored that Mary keep watch over families, the "world of work" and those who have lost their faith and hope.
Benedict XVI also asked for her intercession in comforting the sick, those in jail and all who suffer.
"Sustain, oh Help of Christians, young people, the elderly and people in difficulty," he continued, asking also that the Mother of the Church watch over pastors and all believers "so that they may be 'salt and light' in society."
He reflected on the Virgin Mary as "she who more than any other has contemplated God in the human face of Jesus.
"She saw him just after birth, while wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger; she saw him just after death, when after being taken from the cross, they wrapped him in a cloth and took him to the tomb."
“The image of her tormented son was imprinted within her; but this image was then transfigured by the light of the Resurrection,” Pope Benedict said. “In this way, the mystery of the face of Christ, mystery of death and glory, was kept in the heart of Mary.
"From her," he taught, "we can always learn to look at Jesus with love and faith, to recognize in that human face the Face of God."
The Holy Father concluded by thanking all who have worked to prepare for his visit and the special exposition of the Shroud, which he personally called for in 2008. He said he hoped that it would bring about a "profound spiritual renewal."
After the celebration of Mass and the recitation of the Regina Caeli, the Holy Father was scheduled to have lunch with Cardinal Archbishop of Turin, Severino Poletto, and the bishops of Turin at the archbishop's residence.
The pontiff's visit to the Shroud was scheduled to take place later on Sunday afternoon.