Around 10,000 people gathered in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican on this holiday Friday, December 8th, in Rome Photo: Vatican Media

2 ways Mary guarded her sinless heart (explained by the Pope)

Allocution on the occasion of the recitation of the Angelus on Friday, December 8, 2023, Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Mary

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(ZENIT News / Vatican City, 12.08.2023).- Around 10,000 people gathered in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican on this holiday Friday, December 8th, in Rome. At noon, Pope Francis appeared on the balcony of the papal apartment to recite the Angelus and deliver the traditional address. After nearly two weeks of not delivering speeches himself due to health reasons, we heard from him again this Friday. The following are the Pope’s words in his address on this Marian solemnity.


Today, the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, the Gospel presents us with the scene of the Annunciation (cf. Lk 1:26-38). It demonstrates two of Mary’s attitudes that help us understand how she may have guarded the unique gift she received – a heart completely free from sin. These two attitudes are amazement regarding the works of God and fidelity in the simple things.



[1º The amazement]

Let’s look at the first: amazement. The Angel says to Mary, “Rejoice, full of grace: the Lord is with you” (cf. v. 28). And the Evangelist Luke notes that the Virgin “was greatly troubled…and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be” (v. 29). She remains surprised, struck, troubled: she is amazed when she hears herself called “full of grace” – Our Lady is humble – that is, filled with God’s love. This is a very noble attitude: to be amazed before the Lord’s gifts, never taking them for granted, appreciating their value, rejoicing in the trust and tenderness they bring with them. And it is also important to demonstrate this amazement before others, speaking humbly about God’s gifts, about the good received, and not only about daily problems. To be more positive. We can ask ourselves: Do I know how to be amazed regarding God’s works? Does it happen at times that I am filled with wonder and share it with someone? Or am I always focused on the bad things, sad things?

[2º Fidelity in simple things]

And now the second attitude: fidelity in simple things. Prior to the Annunciation, the Gospel says nothing about Mary. She is presented as a simple girl, apparently equal to so many others who were living in her village. A young girl who, precisely because of her simplicity, kept pure that Immaculate Heart with which, by God’s grace, she had been conceived. And this too is important, for to welcome God’s great gifts, it is necessary to know how to treasure those that are more everyday and less apparent.



It is precisely with her daily fidelity in goodness that Our Lady allowed God’s gift to grow within her. This is how she trained herself to respond to the Lord, to say “yes” to him with her entire life.

So, let us ask ourselves: Do I believe that fidelity to God is important both in everyday situations as well as in my spiritual journey? And if I believe this, do I find the time to read the Gospel, to pray, to participate in the Eucharist and to receive Sacramental forgiveness, to perform some tangible act of disinterested service? These are the small everyday choices, choices necessary to welcome the Lord’s presence.

May Mary Immaculate help us be amazed at God’s gifts and respond to them with faithful generosity each day.

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