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Mary Immaculate Extolled as Icon of Divine Charity

Papal Message Sent by Secretary of State

VATICAN CITY, DEC. 7, 2006 ( The Immaculate Conception is an “icon of beauty and of divine charity,” says the Vatican’s secretary of state in a message sent in Benedict XVI’s name.

With the papal message, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone greeted the participants in the 11th public session of the Holy See’s pontifical academies, held today at the New Synod Hall.

This year’s event was organized by the Pontifical Academy of the Immaculate and the Pontifical International Marian Academy, on the theme “Mary Immaculate, Mother of All Men, Icon of Beauty and of Divine Charity.”

Cardinal Bertone clarified that this theme “seeks to underline precisely the singular participation of the Immaculate Virgin Mary, Mother of God and Mother of all men, in the mystery of God, sublime mystery of beauty and charity.”

“God, One and Triune, who diffuses his beauty and charity in the world he created, communicates, in a particular manner these qualities of his to human creatures through the most perfect Mediator, his Son Jesus Christ, molding them and sanctifying them with the power of the Holy Spirit, so that they will be holy and immaculate in his presence through charity,” the message continued.

However, the cardinal added, “Mary of Nazareth is distinguished among all creatures as resplendent mirror of divine beauty as, having been ‘preserved’ from original sin and full ‘of grace,’ she is so animated and penetrated by the charity of the Holy Spirit that she has become the prototype of the human person, who in the most total manner and without any reservations, receives the Son of God in the tragic hour of his passion and in the resurrection.

“Being profoundly united to Christ, crucified and risen, Mary is revealed as Mother of the whole of humanity and, in particular, of the disciples of the Son.”

Mother of believers

Cardinal Bertone quoted Benedict XVI’s encyclical, “Deus Caritas Est,” which states: “Mary has truly become the Mother of all believers. Men and women of every time and place have recourse to her motherly kindness and her virginal purity and grace, in all their needs and aspirations, their joys and sorrows, their moments of loneliness and their common endeavors.

“They constantly experience the gift of her goodness and the unfailing love which she pours out from the depths of her heart. The testimonials of gratitude, offered to her from every continent and culture, are a recognition of that pure love which is not self-seeking but simply benevolent.”

Through the message, the Holy Father encourages everyone to study the figure of Mary to go further in their discovery of the “path of truth” and “of beauty,” which are contained in the “path of charity.”

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