Pontiff Urges Calabria to Turn to Mary

Visits Italian Region Plagued With Crime, Unemployment

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LAMEZIA TERME, Italy, OCT. 9, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI is encouraging the faithful of Lamezia Terme to commend their serious social problems to the Mother of God.

The Pope said this today during his one-day pastoral visit to Calabria, the region on the «toe» of boot-shaped Italy. The region is one of the poorest of Italy, plagued with high unemployment and high criminal activity.

Before praying the midday Angelus after celebrating Mass in an industrial site just outside Lamezia Terme, the Pope noted that the month of October is dedicated to Mary, Queen of the Rosary.

«I know that there are many Marian shrines present in this land of yours, and I am happy to learn that here in Calabria popular piety is alive,» she said. «I encourage you to practice it constantly in the light of the teachings of Vatican Council II, of the Apostolic See, and of your pastors.

«I entrust your diocesan community affectionately to Mary, so that it will be united in faith, hope and charity. May the Mother of the Church help you to have always in your heart ecclesial communion and missionary commitment. May she support the priests in their ministry, help parents and teachers in their educational task, console the sick and the suffering, preserve in young people a pure and generous soul.»

«Let us also invoke Mary’s intercession for the most serious social problems of this territory and of the whole of Calabria, especially those of work, of youth, of the care of handicapped people, who require increasing attention on the part of everyone, in particular of the institutions,» the Holy Father added.

He concluded: «In communion with your bishops, I exhort you in particular, lay faithful, not to hold back the contribution of your competence and responsibility in the building of the common good.»

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Full text: www.zenit.org/article-33622?l=english

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