Catholic World News News Feature

Pope comments on 1st Communion, Fatima intercession May 15, 2006

Pope Benedict XVI offered some pastoral advice to children preparing for their First Communion, during his regular Sunday audience on May 14. The Holy Father also reminded those attending his Regina Caeli audience that May is a month devoted to the Virgin Mary, and recalled the intercession of Our Lady of Fatima in protecting the life of Pope John Paul II.

Citing the day's Gospel message, with Christ's exhortation to his apostles to remain branches united to the vine, the Pope spoke about "how Christian life is a mystery of communion with Jesus." Addressing the many children who will soon receive their First Communion, he encouraged them to become "branches of the vine, which is Jesus, and grow as true disciples."

One reliable route toward union with Christ, the Pope continued, is union with Mary. He pointed out the example of the three Portuguese children to whom the Virgin appeared in 1917, and the "truly prophetic message" they received from her. And he reminded his audience that Pope John Paul II always insisted that "he had been saved from death by the intercession of a maternal hand" on the feast of Our Lady of Fatima.