VATICAN CITY, MAY 13, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI placed the Church in the maternal hands of Our Lady of Guadalupe, during a visit to venerate her image in the Vatican Gardens, reported L’Osservatore Romano.
The semi-official Vatican daily newspaper published on its front page the prayer recited by the Pope in Spanish before the image of the one invoked as the mother of all men and women of Mexico and Latin America.
“Holy Mary, who under the advocacy of Our Lady of Guadalupe, are invoked as mother of the men and women of the Mexican nation and of Latin America, encouraged by the love you inspire in us, we again place our lives in your maternal hands,” prayed the Pope.
The Holy Father also left a floral offering at the foot of the statue and recited a Hail Mary.
“You who are present in the Vatican Gardens, reign in the hearts of all mothers of the world and in our hearts. With great hope, we come to you and trust in you,” he added.
The white marble image of Our Lady of Guadalupe is located at the highest point of the Vatican Gardens. The work of A. Ponzelli, the image represents the moment St. Juan Diego spread out his cape before Bishop Juan de Zumarraga of Mexico.
The sculpture was presented as a gift of Mexican Catholics to Pius XII in 1939.