FLORIANA, Malta, APRIL 18, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of the address Benedict XVI gave before praying the midday Regina Caeli with those gathered in Floriana’s Granaries Square, on the second day of his apostolic trip to Malta.
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Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
When you give thanks, when you have particular prayer intentions, and when you seek heavenly protection for your loved ones, it is your custom to turn to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church and our Mother. I am aware of the particular devotion of the Maltese people to the Mother of God, expressed with great fervour to Our Lady of Ta’ Pinu and so I am pleased to have the opportunity to pray before her image, brought here specially from Gozo for this occasion.
I am also delighted to present a Golden Rose to her, as a sign of our shared filial affection for the Mother of God. I ask you in particular to pray to her under the title Queen of the Family, a title added to the Litany of Loreto by my beloved predecessor, Pope John Paul II, himself on more than one occasion a visitor to these shores. In offering you this tangible memento of my own visit, I thank you for all that I have received from you in return, especially for the warmth of your devotion and the support of your prayers for my ministry as the Successor of Peter.
We turn now in prayer to Mary, Mother of the Church and Queen of Heaven, as we rejoice in the Resurrection of the One whom she bore in her womb.[The Pope then greeted the pilgrims in various languages. In English he said:]
We join in prayer those gathered in Valladolid Cathedral, in Spain, where Bernardo Francisco de Hoyos, a priest of the Society of Jesus, was beatified this morning. Let us give thanks to God for all the holy men and women he has given to his Church.
I am pleased to welcome all the Italian speaking pilgrims present today on this joyful occasion, especially those that have come from Lampedusa and Linosa! Thank you for having come to share this moment of celebration and prayer with the Maltese brothers and sisters. May the Apostle Paul, whose anniversary of his presence on this island we commemorate, be an example of solid and courageous faith to you in all adversities.
Upon all of you and your families at home, I wholeheartedly invoke the abundant blessings of the Lord for a joyous and holy Paschal time.
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