At the close of the Second Vatican Council 40 years ago, Pope Paul VI entrusted the implementation of the new documents to Mary, calling her by the title; Mother of the Church. Yesterday, Pope Benedict XVI called this the greatest ecclesial moment of the 20th century.
Following Mass celebrated in St. Peter's Basilica, in honor of the Feast of Mary’s Immaculate Conception, the Holy Father appeared at his study window--before cheering throngs below--to pray the Angelus.
Prior to the prayer, he referred to the Solemnity as "a day of intense spiritual joy," calling to mind Dante’s depiction of Mary in the “Paridisio” of his Divine Comedy.
She appears in the thirty-third canto, the Pope recalled, "humbler and higher than all other creatures, fixed aim and goal of the eternal plan" - saying: "In contemplating the Virgin, how can we not reawaken in ourselves, her children, the aspiration to beauty, goodness and purity of heart?”
“Her celestial candor”, Benedict said, “attracts us towards God, helping us to overcome the temptation to a mediocre life - one made up of compromises with evil - and orienting us decisively towards authentic goodness, which is a source of joy."
The Church yesterday, continued to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the close of Vatican Council II, which the Pope called: "the greatest ecclesial event of the twentieth century,"
He recalled that Pope Paul VI "amid the jubilation of many faithful in St. Peter's Square, entrusted the implementation of the conciliar documents to the Virgin Mary, calling her with the title of Mother of the Church.”
“In a special way,” he said, “Mary watched with maternal concern over the pontificates of my venerated predecessors, each of whom, with great pastoral wisdom, guided the ship of Peter on the route of authentic conciliar renewal, working ceaselessly for the faithful interpretation and implementation of Vatican Council II."