ANGELUS ADDRESS: On Mary, Mother of God

‘In recent days, we laid our adoring gaze on the Son of God, born in Bethlehem; Today, Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, turn your eyes to the Mother’

Angelus

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Below is a ZENIT working translation of Pope Francis’ Angelus address to the faithful in St. Peter’s Square:

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Before the Angelus:

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

In recent days, we laid our adoring gaze on the Son of God, born in Bethlehem; Today, the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, let us turn our eyes to the Mother, but taking both of them in their close bond. This bond does not end with the fact of having generated or having been generated; Jesus was “born of woman” (Gal 4,4) for a mission of salvation, and His mother is not excluded from this mission. Indeed, it is intimately associated. Mary is aware of this, so [she] does not cease to consider her motherly relationship with Jesus, but remains open and interested in all the events that happen around Him: she preserves and meditates, scrutinizes and deepens, as the Gospel reminds us today (cf. Lk 2:19). She said “yes” and gave her willingness to be involved in the implementation of God’s plan of salvation, namely that “He has shown might with his arm, dispersed the arrogant of mind and heart. He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones but lifted up the lowly. The hungry he has filled with good things; the rich he has sent away empty.(Lk 1.51 to 53). Now, silent and attentive, she tries to comprehend what God wants from her day-by-day.

The visit of the shepherds is an opportunity to capture some element of God’s will which is manifested in the presence of these humble and poor people. The Evangelist Luke tells us about the visit of the shepherds to the cave by using a succession of verbs that express movement: they go without delay, they found the child with Mary and Joseph, they see Him, refer about Him, and finally glorify God (cf. Lk 2.16 to 20). Mary is closely following this step of the shepherds, because she already sees in it the salvation movement that will emerge from the work of Jesus, and adapts, ready for any request from the Lord. God asks Mary not only to be the mother of His only Son, but also to cooperate with the Son for the plan of salvation, so that in her and through her, the humble servant, great works of divine mercy can be fulfilled.

And then while, like the shepherds, we contemplate the icon of the Child in the arms of His Mother, we feel growing in our hearts a sense of immense gratitude toward the one who gave the world the Savior. For this, the first day of a new year, let us say:

Thank you, Holy Mother of the Son of God, Jesus!
Thank you for your humility that attracted the eyes of God;
thank you for the faith with which you have welcomed His Word;
thanks for the courage with which you said “Here I am”,
forgetting about yourself, fascinated by Holy Love,
becoming one with His hope.
Thank you, Holy Mother of the Son of God, Jesus!
Pray for us, pilgrims in time;
help us to walk the path of peace.
Amen.

[Original text: Italian] [Translation by Deborah Castellano Lubov]

After the Angelus:

Dear brothers and sisters, Happy New Year!

And the year will be good to the extent that each of us, with God’s help, will try to do good every day. In this way, there is peace, saying “no” – indeed – to hatred and violence, and “yes” to fraternity and reconciliation. Fifty years ago, Blessed Pope Paul VI began to celebrate the World Day of Peace on this day, to strengthen our joint efforts to build a peaceful and fraternal world. In this year’s message, I proposed to take nonviolence as a way for a policy of peace.

Unfortunately, violence has also hit this night of good wishes and hope, with a major attack in Istanbul. I am close with prayer to the deceased and their families, the injured and the entire Turkish people. I pray for the many victims and injured and for the whole nation in mourning, and I ask the Lord to sustain all people of goodwill who roll up their sleeves to boldly tackle the scourge of terrorism and the stains of blood that envelop the world with a shadow of fear and bewilderment.

I wish to thank the President of the Italian Republic for the good wishes he addressed to me last night, during his message to the nation. I warmly reciprocate, invoking the Lord’s blessing on the Italian people who, with responsible and united contribution of all, can look to the future with confidence and hope.

I greet all of you here present, families, associations, youth groups, wishing a happy and peaceful new year. I express my gratitude for the many initiatives of prayer and commitment to peace taking place in every part of the world. I remember in particular the national march last night in Bologna, promoted by CEI, Caritas, Catholic Action and Pax Christi, with the support of the Diocese and of the Municipality of Bologna.

I greet the participants in the “Peace in all lands” event, promoted by the Sant’Egidio Community. Thank you for your presence and your testimony!

I wish everyone a year of peace in God’s grace and the maternal protection of Mary, Mother of God.

Have a good feast day and please do not forget to pray for me. Have a good lunch and goodbye!

[Original text: Italian] [Translation of prepared text by Deborah Castellano Lubov]

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