During today’s general audience, on the eve of the feast of the Annunciation, Pope John Paul recalled he has entrusted the Church, the world and mankind to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, responding to Our Lady’s plea in Fatima.
Our Lady’s “fiat” or “yes” in the moment of the Annunciation, said the Pope, “echoes that of the Word Incarnate” to which we must add “our ‘yes’ with respect to God’s mysterious plans. Only through full adhesion to the divine will do true joy and peace flourish, which we all hope for ardently for our times.”
John Paul then recalled the three moments in his pontificate when he entrusted the Church, the world and mankind to Mary: December 8, 1978 when he entrusted the Church and world to her; June 4, 1979, renewing this vow at the shrine of the Black Madonna in Poland and again in 1984.
“I remember especially March 25, 1984, the Holy Year. Twenty years have gone by since that day when in spiritual union with all the bishops of the world I entrusted all of mankind to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in response to Our Lady’s plea in Fatima,” he said.
After emphasizing that “in those moments humanity was living difficult times of great apprehension and uncertainty,” he added.
“Twenty years later –the Pontiff continued, - the world is still marred by hatred, violence, terrorism and war. Among the many victims that make the news every day, there are so many innocent people who are killed while they carry out their work. Today, which is dedicated to commemoration and prayer for the ‘martyr missionaries’, we must also commemorate the priests, consecrated persons and lay faithful who died in mission territory in 2003.”
“So much blood continues to be shed in many regions around the world. It is still urgent that men open their hearts to a courageous effort of reciprocal understanding. The wait for justice and peace becomes longer and longer in every part of the world. How can we respond to this thirst for hope and love if not with Christ through Mary?”
The Pope concluded by repeating his petition to Our Lady in 1984: “Mother of Christ, may the infinite saving power of the Redemption, power of divine love, reveal itself once again in the history of the world! May it stop evil! May it transform our consciences! May the light of hope in your Immaculate heart be revealed to us all!”