Poised for Solemnity of Immaculate Conception

VATICAN CITY, DEC. 5, 2004 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of the address John Paul II gave today, before praying the midday Angelus with pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

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1. We are preparing to celebrate, with profound joy, the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which this year takes on a particular significance. Commemorated, in fact, are the 150 years since the proclamation of this important Marian dogma.

2. We will remember this anniversary on December 8 with a solemn Eucharistic celebration in the Vatican basilica, where in 1854 my venerable predecessor, Blessed Pius IX, accompanied by bishops from all over the world, proclaimed the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. In this way, we will honor the «Tota Pulchra,» she whom God chose as Mother of his Only-Begotten Son.

3. Later, as every year, I will go to Piazza di Spagna for the traditional tribute to the Immaculate Conception.

I invite you all, dear Romans and pilgrims, to join me in this act of filial veneration of our heavenly Mother.

[Translation by ZENIT]

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