Pope Urges Giving Priority to Mary

Highlights Efforts to Incorporate Her in Daily Life

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ROME, JUNE 24, 2010 (Zenit.org).- The Blessed Mother should always be placed at the height of our thoughts and affection, says Benedict XVI, as she watches over our families and points the way to Heaven.

The Pope made this exhortation today during his visit to the Don Orione Center in Rome’s Monte Mario district, where he blessed a 29-foot-tall restored statue of the Virgin Mary.

The statue, known as «Salus Populi Romani» (Protector of the Roman People), is made of gilded copper and looks out over the city of Rome. It fell from its 62-foot pedestal in a storm last Oct. 12, but has been recently restored.

The Pontiff noted how the «Madonnina — as the Romans like to call her» — is «so loved by the Roman people.» It was once again placed on the Monte Mario hilltop where it stood since 1953 to «watch over our city.» 

It was placed there to by the Orionine Fathers, the Sons of Divine Providence, to give the people «a sign of [Mary’s] familiar presence in daily life,» the Holy Father noted.

«May Mary, Mother of God and our Mother, be always at the summit of your thoughts and affection,» he said, as the «kind consolation of your souls, sure guide of your desires and support of your steps, persuasive inspirer of the imitation of Jesus Christ.»

May the Madonnina, Benedict XVI added, «in the gesture of looking from on high at the places of family, civil and religious life in Rome, protect families, inspire good resolutions, suggest to all the desire for heaven.»

Charity alone

The Pope addressed the Orionine congregation, founded by St. Luigi Orione in 1893, which just ended its 13th general chapter.

He stated, «St. Luigi Orione’s program — charity alone will save the world — had a significant realization here and became a sign of hope for Rome, in union with the Madonnina placed on the top of the hill.»

The Pontiff affirmed that «Don Orione lived in a lucid and passionate way the Church’s task to live love in order to make the light of God enter the world.»

He noted that these «works of charity, both as personal acts or as services to frail persons offered in great institutions, can never be reduced to a philanthropic gesture, but must always be a tangible expression of the provident love of God.»

The Holy Father told the congregation, «I bless the objective and the decisions that have been adopted to re-launch the spiritual and apostolic dynamism that must always distinguish you.»

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On ZENIT’s Web page:

<p>Full text: http://zenit.org/article-29696?l=english

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