Mary’s Message: Openness to the Action of the Holy Spirit

VATICAN CITY, 8 DEC 2010 (VIS) – At 4.15 p.m. Benedict XVI went to place the traditional floral wreath at the foot of the statue of Mary, in celebration of today’s Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. The statue stands on a column in Rome‘s Piazza di Spagna, directly in front of the Spanish embassy to the Holy See.

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VATICAN CITY, 8 DEC 2010 (VIS) – At 4.15 p.m. Benedict XVI went to place the traditional floral wreath at the foot of the statue of Mary, in celebration of today’s Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. The statue stands on a column in Rome‘s Piazza di Spagna, directly in front of the Spanish embassy to the Holy See.

Before arriving in the square, the Holy Father stopped briefly at the Church of the Most Holy Trinity to greet the Dominican Friars and the members of the Via Condotti Storeowners Association. Once in the square, in the presence of thousands of faithful, he blessed a basket of roses which was placed at the foot of the column bearing Mary’s statue.

“We are gathered here around this historic monument, which today is surrounded by flowers as a sign of the people of Rome’s love and devotion for the Mother of Jesus”, the Pope remarked. “And the most beautiful gift, … we can offer her is our prayer, the prayer we carry in our hearts and entrust to her intercession”.

“Yet when we come here, and especially on this 8 December, what we receive from Mary is much more important than what we can offer to her. She gives us a message, addressed to each one of us, to the city of Rome and to the entire world. I too, as the bishop of this city, come here to listen, not just for myself but for everyone. And what does Mary say? She speaks with God’s word, which became flesh in her womb. God’s ‘message’, in none other than Jesus. … Mary tells us that we are all called to open ourselves to the action of the Holy Spirit in order to achieve, as our ultimate destiny, the immaculate state, fully and definitively free from evil”.

“This is the message that Mary gives us”, the Holy Father went on. “And it strikes me particularly when I come here on this day because I feel it is addressed to the entire city, to all the men and women who live in Rome, including … those who do not even remember that today is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, and those who feel alone and abandoned. The gaze of Mary is as the gaze of God upon each one of us. She looks at us with the same love as the Father, and she blesses us”.

“The Mother looks upon us as God looked upon her, the humble girl of Nazareth insignificant before the eyes of the world but chosen and precious before God. In each of us she recognises a likeness to her Son Jesus, even though we are so different! But who better than she knows the power of divine Grace? Who better than she knows that nothing is impossible for God, Who is even capable of drawing good from evil?”

“This”, the Pope concluded, “is the message we receive here at the feet of Mary Immaculate. It is a message of hope for everyone in this city and in the entire world”.