VATICAN CITY, MAY 9, 2010 (Zenit.org).-
Here is a translation of the address Benedict XVI gave today before praying the midday Regina Caeli together with the crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square.
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Dear Brothers and Sisters!
May is a month that is loved and its arrival is welcome for several reasons. In our hemisphere spring advances with so many and colorful blossoms; the climate is favorable for walks and excursions. For the liturgy, May always belongs to the Easter Season, the season of the “alleluia,” of the revelation of the mystery of Christ in the light of the Resurrection and of the Easter faith; and it is the time of expectation of the Holy Spirit, who descends with power on the nascent Church at Pentecost. With both these contexts, the “natural” and the liturgical, the tradition of the Church is well in tune in dedicating the month of May to the Virgin Mary. She is, in fact, the most beautiful flower to blossom in creation, the “rose” that appeared in the fullness of time, when God, sending his Son, gave the world a new spring. And she is at the same time humble and discreet protagonist of the first steps of the Christian community: Mary is its spiritual heart, because her very presence in the midst of the disciples is a living memory of the Lord Jesus and pledge of the gift of his Spirit.
This Sunday’s Gospel, taken from Chapter 14 of St. John, offers us an implicit spiritual portrait of the Virgin Mary, where Jesus says: “If a man loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him” (John 14:23). These expressions are addressed to the disciples, but they can be applied precisely to her who is the first and perfect disciple of Jesus. Mary in fact observed first and fully the word of her Son, thus demonstrating that she loved him not only as his mother, but first still as humble and obedient handmaid; because of this God the Father loved her and the Most Holy Trinity made its dwelling in her. Moreover, when Jesus promises his friends that the Holy Spirit will assist them, helping them to remember and understand profoundly every word of his (cf. John 14:26), how can we not think of Mary, who in her heart, temple of the Spirit, meditated and interpreted faithfully everything that her Son said and did? In this way, already before and above all after Easter, the Mother of Jesus became also the Mother and model of the Church.
Dear friends, in the heart of this Marian month, I will have the joy of going in the forthcoming days to Portugal. I will visit the capital, Lisbon, and Porto, the country’s second city. The principal objective of my trip will be Fatima, on the occasion of the 10th Anniversary of the Beatification of the two little shepherds, Jacinta and Francisco. For the first time as Successor of Peter I will go to that Marian Shrine, so dear to the Venerable John Paul II. I invite everyone to accompany me on this pilgrimage, participating actively with prayer: with only one heart and one soul we invoke the intercession of the Virgin Mary for the Church, in particular for priests, and for peace in the world.
[Translation by ZENIT] [After the recitation of the Regina Caeli, the Holy Father greeted the pilgrims in various languages. In English he said:]
I greet all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors present at today’s Regina Caeli. This week I am making an Apostolic Journey to Portugal to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Beatification of the visionaries Blessed Jacinta and Blessed Francisco. I ask for your prayers for the success of this Journey, and I in turn assure you of my prayers to our Lady of Fatima for the whole People of God. May she intercede for us all, and draw us closer to Christ her Son. Upon each of you and your loved ones at home, I invoke God’s abundant blessings.
© Copyright 2010 — Libreria Editrice Vaticana
VATICAN CITY, MAY 9, 2010 (Zenit.org).-