Renewal of an Entrustment to Mary

Pope Notes Anniversary of Our Lady of Tears

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CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, AUG. 31, 2003 ( Here is a translation of the address John Paul II gave today when he met with pilgrims gathered in the courtyard of the summer papal residence.

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Dear Brothers and Sisters!

1. In the past Sundays, my reflection has focused on Europe and its Christian roots, reviewing the text of the postsynodal apostolic exhortation «Ecclesia in Europa.» This document concludes with an «Entrustment to Mary» of all the men and women of the continent, an entrustment that I wish to renew today, so that the Holy Virgin will make Europe become a symphony of nations committed to building together the civilization of love and peace!

2. In every European country, the Marian shrines are innumerable. Today, my thoughts go, in particular, to the Shrine of Our Lady of Tears of Syracuse, where the 50th anniversary of Mary’s lacrimation is being celebrated. I greet with great affection the archbishop and community of Syracuse, which precisely tomorrow, Sept. 1, will solemnly conclude the extraordinary Marian Year proclaimed to commemorate such an amazing event. I greet the many devotees who have come from Sicily and from many parts of Italy and the world, to venerate «Our Lady of Tears.» I greet the group of pilgrims from Syracuse who have brought a crown of gold here to be blessed and to be placed on the head of the Virgin.

I remain in devoted contemplation before the precious reliquary of the Tears of Our Lady, which has visited the various ecclesial communities of Sicily, stirring spiritual emotion and enthusiasm everywhere. How mysterious these tears are! They speak of suffering and tenderness, of comfort and divine mercy. They are the sign of a maternal presence, and an appeal to conversion to God, abandoning the way of evil to follow faithfully Jesus Christ.

3. To you, sweet Lady of Tears, we present the Church and the whole world. Look at those who have most need of forgiveness and reconciliation; bring concord to families and peace among peoples.

Dry the tears that hatred and violence cause in many regions of the Earth, especially in the Middle East and the African continent.

May your tears, O Mother, be a pledge of conversion and peace for all your children!

[Translation by ZENIT]

[After praying the Angelus, the Holy Father greeted the pilgrims in several languages. In English, he said:]

I greet the new seminarians of the Pontifical North American College, and I assure you of my prayers for your studies. Upon all the English-speaking pilgrims present today, including the young people from Malta and the University of Dallas, I cordially invoke the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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