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Pope closes Marian month with reflection on faith and courage
Participants waiting for Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican's Lourdes Grotto in 2010.
Participants waiting for Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican's Lourdes Grotto in 2010.

.- Pope Benedict XVI concluded a month of Marian celebrations with a procession and Rosary in the Vatican Gardens on May 31, the Feast of the Visitation. He offered the faithful a message about Mary’s fearless trust in God, for whom “nothing is impossible.”

“The one whom Elizabeth welcomes into her home is the Virgin who 'has believed' the Angel's annunciation, who responded with faith, courageously accepting God's plan for her life and thus embracing within herself the eternal Word of the Most High,” he said.

The procession traveled from the Church of St. Stephen of the Abyssinians to the grotto dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes, following a yearly custom that commemorates the Virgin Mary during the month dedicated to her.

The Pope addressed the crowds at the grotto before giving his apostolic blessing. He spoke of the Virgin Mary’s visit to her cousin Elizabeth, and how it showed the “courage of faith.”

It was Mary’s strong confidence in God’s plan that allowed her to be guided by the Holy Spirit in daily obedience, he noted.

The Pope then appealed to the audience, asking, “How can we not desire that same trusting abandonment in our lives? How can we not yearn for that beatitude that is born of a profound and intimate familiarity with Jesus?”

Pope Benedict also commented on the “great gift of grace” that Blessed John Paul II has given to the Church, particularly since his May 1 beatification.

“His witness continues to illuminate our lives and urges us to be true disciples of the Lord, to courageously follow him in faith, and to love him with the same enthusiasm with which he gave his life to Christ,” he said.

The Pope closed with a prayer, asking Mary to help us respond more generously to God’s plan “even when we are called to embrace the Cross.”


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