Pope´s Angelus Message on Feast of Immaculate Conception

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VATICAN CITY, DEC. 8, 2000 (Zenit.org).-

Here is a translation of the message John Paul II delivered before today´s Angelus.

1. On this day we celebrate the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a recurrence so dear to Christian people. It is well inserted in the time of Advent and, with a very pure light, radiantly illuminates our spiritual itinerary toward Christmas.

On this day we contemplate the humble maiden of Nazareth, preserved with extraordinary and ineffable privilege, from the contamination of original sin and from every fault, to be able to be the worthy dwelling of the incarnate Word. In Mary, new Eve, Mother of the new Adam, the original wondrous design of love of the Father is restored in an even more wondrous way. Because of this, the grateful Church acclaims: «Through You, Immaculate Virgin, we have regained life: You conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and the world received its Savior from you» (Liturgy of the Hours, Saturday Memoria of Holy Mary, Antiphon to Benedictus).

2. Today´s liturgy recounts the evangelical narrative of the Annunciation. Replying to the Angel, the Virgin proclaimed: «Behold the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done unto me according to your word» (Luke 1:38). Mary expresses her total assent of mind and heart to the divine and mysterious will and prepares to accept the Son of God, first in faith and then in her virginal womb.

«Behold me!» This, her prompt adherence to the divine will, is a model for all of us believers, so that in great events, as well as in ordinary affairs, we entrust ourselves entirely to the Lord.

Mary encourages us to believe in the fulfillment of the divine promises with the testimony of her life. She calls us to a spirit of humility, the right interior attitude of the creature toward the Creator; she exhorts us to place sure hope in Christ, who fully accomplishes the salvific plan, even when events seem dark and are difficult to accept. Like a shining star, Mary guides our steps to meet the Lord who is coming.

3. Dearest Brothers and Sisters! Let us turn toward the Holy and all Beautiful Immaculate Mary, our Advocate, Mother of the «King of Peace,» who crushes the head of the serpent: Help us, men and women of the third millennium, to resist the seductions of evil; revive faith, hope and charity in our hearts so that, faithful to our call, we will know how to be fearless witnesses of Jesus Christ, Holy Door of eternal salvation, no matter what the cost in terms of sacrifice.
[Translation by ZENIT]

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