After celebrating Mass in Lourdes on Sunday morning, Pope Benedict spoke about the importance of the Angelus prayer. Addressing an audience of more than 100,000 people, the Holy Father encouraged them to contemplate the “yes” of Mary, and learn from her example how to fulfill their own vocations.
Benedict XVI began his remarks by nothing that every day, thanks to the Angelus prayer, "when the first hours of the day are already beginning to weigh us down with fatigue, our availability and our generosity are renewed by the contemplation of Mary's 'yes'. This clear and unreserved 'yes'."
"While sin divides, separating us from one another," he continued, "Mary's purity makes her infinitely close to our hearts, attentive to each of us and desirous of our true good. You see it here in Lourdes, as in all Marian shrines; immense crowds come thronging to Mary's feet to entrust to her their most intimate thoughts, their most heartfelt wishes."
The faithful who bring their petitions to Mary find that her “maternal love disarms all pride; it renders man capable of seeing himself as he is, and it inspires in him the desire to be converted so as to give glory to God," Benedict expounded.
Stating that Mary teaches men and women to approach the Lord "in truth and simplicity," Pope Benedict noted, "Thanks to her, we discover that the Christian faith is not a burden: it is like a wing which enables us to fly higher, so as to take refuge in God's embrace." He continued, "In Mary, the Church can already contemplate what she is called to become. Every believer can contemplate, here and now, the perfect fulfillment of his or her own
The Holy Father also asked that his audience be always thankful for the Lord's "plan of salvation" revealed "through the mystery of Mary." He noted that this mystery "is revealed to us through the words of Jesus himself that his Mother is our Mother."
Pope Benedict concluded by invoking the help of Mary: "Monstra Te esse Matrem. Show yourself a Mother for us all, O Mary! And give us Christ, the hope of the world! Amen."
After the Angelus, the Holy Father greeted English-speakers present: "I pray that your participation in our pilgrimage here to Lourdes, in this anniversary year of the apparitions, will renew your relationship with Mary Mother of the Church and assist you to come to understand more fully her trust in God and her love of the Son. I extend my greetings to the members of your families at home: may our immaculate Mother continue to protect us all offering consolation especially to the sick and the suffering!"
Following the Angelus, the Holy Father traveled to the St. Joseph Hermitage where he lunched with bishops from the Midi-Pyrenees region.