Pope tells seminarians to love and imitate Mary in order to be faithful priests

.- On Saturday at the Vatican, community members of the Pontifical Major Seminary of Rome participated in their traditional meeting for the feast of their patroness, Our Lady of Trust. During the gathering, the group were treated to a message from the Holy Father prepared from his hospital room. During the evening, the choir and orchestra of the diocese of Rome played a piece inspired by the title of John Paul II's Apostolic Letter, "Mane nobiscum Domine."

Archbishop Leonardo Sandri, substitute for General Affairs of the Secretariat of State, read the address from the Pope who followed the ceremony from his room in Rome's Gemelli Polyclinic.

"For me," the Pope wrote, "you are a reason for consolation, because you represent a privileged sign of the Lord's love for His cherished Church which is in Rome."

To contemplate the face of Christ, and to contemplate it with Mary, is the 'program' which I have set before the Church at the dawn of the third millennium, summoning her to put out into the deep on the sea of history with the enthusiasm of the new evangelization.' You have chosen to take these words of mine as the theme for reflection for your feast day."

The Holy Father’s message went on to affirm that "in the year of the Eucharist, celebrating Mary means, for you, putting the sacrifice of her divine Son at the center of attention, a sacrifice that becomes sacramentally present whenever Mass is celebrated."

John Paul II recalled Jesus' words to St John before His death on the Cross of, "behold, your mother!" On this, he emphasized, "I also repeat to you today, behold, your mother, who must be loved and imitated with complete trust, so that you become priests capable of pronouncing, not once but always, the decisive word of faith: 'here I am,' 'Fiat.'”

May the prayer, 'Mater mea, fiducia mea!' be the profound and simple synthesis of your days, days you pass contemplating Christ with Mary!"

The Pope concluded his address by expressing this desire to all the young people present, and especially to those considering the priestly vocation, to altar boys and parish youth groups. "Dear young people, the Lord passes and calls, be ready to collaborate with Him."

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