Vatican City, Dec 8, 2005 / 22:00 pm
At the close of the Second Vatican Council 40 years ago, Pope Paul VI entrusted the implementation of the new documents to Mary, calling her by the title; Mother of the Church. Yesterday, Pope Benedict XVI called this the greatest ecclesial moment of the 20th century.
Following Mass celebrated in St. Peter's Basilica, in honor of the Feast of Mary's Immaculate Conception, the Holy Father appeared at his study window--before cheering throngs below--to pray the Angelus.
Prior to the prayer, he referred to the Solemnity as "a day of intense spiritual joy," calling to mind Dante's depiction of Mary in the "Paridisio" of his Divine Comedy.
She appears in the thirty-third canto, the Pope recalled, "humbler and higher than all other creatures, fixed aim and goal of the eternal plan" - saying: "In contemplating the Virgin, how can we not reawaken in ourselves, her children, the aspiration to beauty, goodness and purity of heart?"