.- At a meeting with young people in the northern Italian city of Savona, Pope Benedict XVI recited the Angelus prayer with the young people and invited them to trust in Mary. He recalled the words the Virgin Mary spoke to shepherd Benedict Pareto in the year 1400 urging him to build a shrine on Mount Figogna, the place where she appeared.
Benedict Pareto, according to tradition, was worried because he did not know how to respond to Maryâs invitation to build a church in a place so remote from the city. The Pope repeated the Virgin Maryâs words: âtrust in me! With me in your midst you will not fail. With my help everything will be easy. Only keep your will firm. Trust in me!â
âThis, Mary repeats to us today,â Pope Benedict said. âAn ancient prayer, very dear in popular tradition, makes us turn in confidence to You with these confident words, that today we make our own: âRemember, O Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, sought your help or implored your intercession was left abandoned.â
âIt is with this certainty that we invoke the motherly care of Our Lady of the Guard on your diocesan community, its pastors, consecrated persons, the lay faithful: young people, families, the elderly. To Mary we entrust the entire city, with its diverse population, its cultural, social and economic problems and challenges of our times, and commitment of those who cooperate for the common good.â
Turning to the unique heritage of the region the Pope said, "Together with you, I thank God for the strong and tenacious faith of past generations that, during the centuries have written memorable pages of holiness and human civilization. Liguria and Genoa in particular, has always been a land open to the Mediterranean and the whole world: how many missionaries departed from this port for the Americas and other distant lands!"
After the Marian prayer, the Pope directed his attention to Mondayâs Diplomatic Conference on Cluster Munitions, a meeting in Dublin convened in order to produce a convention against the deadly weapons. He said the conference was an âimportant event.â
"I hope that, thanks to the responsibility of all participants, we can reach an international instrument that is strong and credible: it is indeed necessary to remedy past mistakes and prevent recurrence in the future," Pope Benedict said.