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Pope visits St. Mary Major, speaks on Marian devotion

Catholic World News - May 06, 2013

Pope Francis formally “took possession” of the Roman basilica of St. Mary Major on Saturday, May 4. While there, the Holy Father prayed the Rosary and spoke about the role of the Virgin Mary in the Church.

The Blessed Mother “helps us to grow, she helps us to face life, and she helps use to be free,” the Pope said. Like any good mother, he continued, she “takes care that her children grow always more, that they grow strong and capable of taking on responsibility.” Still more, he said, “like a good mother she is close to us so that we never lose courage in the face of life's adversities, in the face of our own weakness, in the face of our sins.”

The Madonna’s help is important to Christians facing decisions, the Pope said. “How difficult it is, in our times, to take make definitive decisions! The temporary seduces us.” The Virgin guides the faithful toward a proper understanding of true freedom, he said, and in that way helps them make lasting commitments.

The Pope’s visit to St. Mary Major was the second of his pontificate. On the day after his election he traveled across Rome to St. Mary Major, without advance notice, explaining that he wanted to place his pontificate under the patronage of the Madonna.

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  • Posted by: frjpharrington3912 - May. 07, 2013 12:18 AM ET USA

    A beautiful reflection by the Pope on the role of the Blessed Mother in the lives of the faithful. As mother of Jesus she is present at the most significant moments of his life: birth, first miracle at Cana, death, and gathers with the disciples in prayer in the upper room to await the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Her fidelity to God's word manifested in her motherhood of the Word made flesh teaches us to grow, to face life and to be truly free to commit ourselves in God's service.

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