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Marian devotion essential to Catholic faith, Pope says

Catholic World News - May 30, 2011

“Catholicisim could not exist without a Marian character,” Pope Benedict XVI told a visiting German delegation on May 28. The Pope added that he had realized at an early age that “being Catholic meant belonging to Mary.”

The Holy Father was speaking to members of the Maria Verkündigung, the Marian Congregation of Men, from Regensburg. They were visiting the Vatican to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the date when the Pontiff, as a young man, had been inducted into that congregation.

At the time Europe was in “a dark age,” under Nazi rule, the Pope recalled. “It seemed that the continent was in the hands of this power that…put the future of Christianity in doubt.” Shortly after he entered the congregation, the war began and the group was scattered.

Today, the Pope observed with pleasure, there are 40,000 members of the Maria Verkündigung in Bavaria. “Thank you all for continuing to hold this witness high,” he said, adding that their witness helps to prove that the Catholic faith is not a matter of the past but a living institution that will be powerful in the future as well.

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