VATICAN CITY, DEC. 8, 2009 ( Benedict XVI says that today's Marian feast of the Immaculate Conception is one of the most beautiful feasts, drawing our attention to the Mother who gives light and comfort.

The Pope spoke of Mary Immaculate as our Mother today when he prayed the midday Angelus with crowds gathered in St. Peter's Square.

"In the simplicity of the home of Nazareth lives Israel's pure remnant from which God wishes to have his people be born again, as a new tree that will extend its branches in the whole world, offering all men good fruits of salvation," he said. "As opposed to Adam and Eve, Mary remains obedient to the Lord's will, with her whole self she pronounces her 'yes' and places herself fully at the disposition of the divine plan. She is the new Eve, true 'mother of all the living' -- that is, of all those who by faith in Christ receive eternal life."

The Holy Father said it is an "immense joy" to have Mary Immaculate as Mother.

"Every time we experience our frailty and the suggestion of evil, we can turn to her, and our heart receives light and comfort," he assured.

The Pontiff continued: "Also in life's trials, in the storms that make faith and hope vacillate, we think that we are her children and that the roots of our existence sink in the infinite grace of God. The Church herself, even if exposed to the negative influences of the world, always finds in her the star to direct and follow the route indicated by Christ."

Mary is truly the Mother of the Church, Benedict XVI affirmed.

"While, therefore, we render thanks to God for this wonderful sign of his goodness," he concluded, "we entrust to the Immaculate Virgin each one of us, our families and the community, the whole Church and the entire world."

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