Tomorrow on the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven, Pope Francis will recite the Angelus at noon with the faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square.
In an interview with Vatican Radio, Cardinal Angelo Comastri, president of the Fabbrica di San Pietro and vicar general of Vatican City State, spoke on the importance of this feast day and the profound love of Francis for the Blessed Virgin Mary.
On the importance of the Holy Day, the cardinal stressed how timely the day is for society, and went on to explore Mary’s beauty in body and soul. “Mary was beautiful inside; Mary was beautiful in her feelings, Mary was beautiful in her humility, Mary was beautiful in her generosity, Mary was beautiful in her total dedication to her Son, the Savior, and that beauty, that in some way emerged in the body, justified its assumption.”
“Now, the Pope knows all this,” the cardinal noted. “Pope Francis knows and believes and lives – we can say – with the simplicity of a child.” The cardinal said that this is “very beautiful” and something from which “we can draw important lessons.”
Cardinal Comastri recalled how Francis often refers to his grandmother and how in teaching him to pray, she really instilled in young Jorge his devotion to the Madonna from early on.
When asked further about the Pope’s devotion to Mary, the prelate acknowledged the simple and loving way the Pontiff expresses his veneration, including when Francis returns from a trip and brings flowers for Mary in Santa Maria Maggiore.
In Francis’ simplicity and gestures, Cardinal Comastri underscored, he “speaks straight to the heart, sends the message immediately and tells us very clearly that the Pope feels a bit like a child clinging to his mother, a child who needs to tell his story to his mother, his travels, his labors, his commitments.”
“This is the meaning of the bouquet of flowers that Pope Francis brings to the altar,” he said.
While Francis has shown himself to be deeply devoted to the Virgin Mary, one of her titles that the Pope loves best is “Our Lady Undoer of Knots,” the Cardinal pointed out, saying he carried this devotion with him in Buenos Aires and now throughout the world.
“Who does not have any knots in his life? Who does not have any problem to solve?” he said, noting therefore, “It’s nice to imagine Mary as the one who takes a tangle and, with patience, tries to untangle it, to unravel it and bring back the beauty of ordinary life: the life that we all want to live.”
A specific example in which Mary did this, he recalled, was during the wedding at Cana, in which there was no more wine. “Mary unties the knot,” he said, and “does so with extreme delicacy.” The cardinal stressed that Mary does not turn to Jesus and say, ‘Son, you have to make a miracle!’ which is not her style. Rather, she simply and delicately mentions, ‘Son, they have no wine.’
During a Penitential Celebration in March in St. Peter’s Basilica, Pope Francis announced the celebration of an extraordinary Holy Year dedicated to Mercy. The Jubilee of Mercy will begin on December 8th, 2015, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception and will conclude on November 20th, 2016, Solemnity of Christ the King. The last extraordinary Holy Year was declared by St. John Paul II in 1983 and commemorated the 1,950th anniversary of the Year of Redemption, the year Christ died.