Loreto, Italy, Oct 4, 2012 / 10:48 am
Pope Benedict XVI made a one-day pilgrimage to the Marian shrine of Loreto in Italy to entrust the forthcoming Synod of Bishops and Year of Faith to the Virgin Mary.
"Mother of the 'yes,' you who heard Jesus, speak to us of him; tell us of your journey, that we may follow him on the path of faith; help us to proclaim him, that each person may welcome him and become the dwelling place of God," the Pope said during Mass in the town's main square, the Piazza della Madonna di Loreto.
The pastoral visit also imitated the pilgrimage made 50 years ago by Blessed Pope John XXIII on the eve of the opening of the Second Vatican Council when he also entrusted the gathering to Christ's mother.
Pope Benedict placed both the Synod of Bishops on new evangelization and the Year of Faith in the hands of Mary. The synod will last from October 7 to 28, while the Year of Faith begins on Oct. 11, the 50th anniversary of Vatican II.