.- Appearing in a good form on Wednesday, Pope John Paul presided over the 150th Anniversary of the Immaculate Conception and consecrated the Church tu Mary.
The Pontiff reminded Catholics that the dogma proclaimed by Pope Pius IX is a central element of their faith.
The 84-year old Pope, flanked by lines of cardinals and bishops, highlighted the feast on its 150th anniversary and called for Catholics to renew their devotion to Mary for the "peace and salvation of all people".
"The Immaculate Conception is lighthouse for humanity in every time. At the start of the third millennium, it is the beacon to show us the way to believe and hope in God," the Pope told thousands of pilgrims gathered at St. Peter's square.
To you, Immaculate Virgin, chosen by God over all creature to be the advocate of grace and model of holiness for his people, I renew today in a special way the consecration of the whole Church," the Pope said.
The Pope, later on Wednesday, will continue the celebrations by traveling to central Rome for the traditional homage to the monument of the Inmaculate Conception erected by Pope Pius IX in the famous "Piazza Spagna," or Spanish square.
Pope Pius IX proclaimed the dogma of the Immaculate Conception in 1854, and the Church has marked its 150th anniversary with an international Congress and a special concert led by soprano Montserrat Caballe.