Stay Close to Mary, Advises John Paul II

VATICAN CITY, NOV. 9, 2004 ( Mindful of the rapid changes that mark contemporary society, John Paul II encouraged Catholics to maintain their relationship with the Blessed Virgin Mary.

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The Pope explained this in a letter sent to Cardinal Salvatore De Giorgi, archbishop of Palermo, congratulating him for Sicily’s celebration of the 150th anniversary of the proclamation of the dogma of the immaculate conception of Mary.

“In a rapidly changing world, there are some things that should not change,” the Holy Father wrote. “Among them, surely, is the bond of filial love between members of the Church and the Virgin, ‘full of grace,’ whom Jesus, from the cross, entrusted to us as Mother.”

“Amid the joys and hopes, sadness and sorrows of life, Mary is the sign of consolation and sure hope,” he stated.

“She is so for the elderly and youth, for families and consecrated persons,” the Holy Father added, imploring “the maternal protection of Mary Immaculate.”

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