CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, AUG. 31, 2003 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II entrusted the future of the new Europe to Mary, as he concluded a series of addresses on his hopes and concerns for the Old World.
From the courtyard of the papal summer residence of Castel Gandolfo, the Pope has dedicated his last eight addresses at the Sunday Angelus to reflect on the postsynodal apostolic exhortation “Ecclesia in Europa,” published in June.
The Pope concluded his reflections today, as he did in the document itself, “with an ‘Entrustment to Mary’ of all the men and women of the continent.”
He placed Europe in Mary’s hands, so that it will “become a symphony of nations committed to building together the civilization of love and peace.”
Last Sunday, the Holy Father urged that the final draft of the European Constitution should recognize explicitly the Christian roots of the continent, as they constitute a “guarantee of a future.”
On Aug. 17, he referred to the crisis of values in Europe and appealed for the recovery of the continent’s “true identity,” adding that “the process of enlargement of the European Union to other countries cannot affect only the geographic and economic aspects, but must be translated in a renewed agreement on values which must be expressed in law and in life.”
On July 27, the Pope referred to the “agnosticism and practical atheism” that seems to be spreading in the continent and proposed “a renewed commitment” so that the “whole life of believers will be an authentic spiritual worship pleasing to God.” In particular, he urged the rediscovery of the “value of Sunday,” at the Aug. 3 Angelus.
This commitment must also be the foundation for building a solidaristic Europe, he stressed on Aug. 10.
“It is also necessary today ‘to give back hope to the poor,’ because in receiving and serving them, Christ himself is received and served,” the Pope said. “The challenges that in this realm face believers in Europe are many.” In particular, he stressed that of assistance to the family and the defense of life.