VATICAN CITY, June 1, 2012 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI made a brief address at the conclusion of the month of May, which is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The address was preceded by the traditional rosary procession inside the Vatican Gardens that starts from the Church of St. Stephen of the Abyssians to the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes.
The Holy Father exhorted those in attendance to look towards the Blessed Mother as an example of faith in turbulent times. “We must always learn from our heavenly Mother; her faith invites us to look beyond appearances and firmly to believe that our daily difficulties are, in fact, part of a springtime which has already begun with the risen Christ,” the pope said.
The procession was presided by Cardinal Angelo Comastri, archpriest of the Basilica of St. Peter’s in the Vatican and vicar general for Vatican City. Pope Benedict XVI arrived at the Grotto and made the address before imparting his apostolic blessing. The pontiff invited the faithful to look at the Virgin Mary as a model of strength and joy. “This evening we wish to draw from Mary’s Immaculate Heart with renewed trust, allowing ourselves to be imbued with her joy which had its most profound source in the Lord. Joy, the fruit of the Holy Spirit, is a fundamental distinguishing characteristic of Christians. It is founded on hope in God, it draws strength from incessant prayer and it enables us to face trials and suffering with serenity,” he said.
“As St. Paul reminds us: ‘Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer’. These words of the Apostle are like an echo of Mary’s ‘Magnificat’ and exhort us to reproduce, in our own selves and in our everyday lives, the sentiments of joy in the faith expressed in that Marian canticle”.
The pope concluded his address by expressing his hope that, “at the end of this month of May, the spiritual joy which overflows from the grateful heart of Christ’s Mother and ours, may become consolidated in our hearts, in our personal and family lives, in all places and especially in the life the family which, here in the Vatican, serves the universal Church”.