Pope prays for Rome, world in traditional homage to Immaculate Mary
December 09, 2016
Following a custom that dates back several decades, Pope Francis left the Vatican on the afternoon of December 8 and traveled to the Piazza di Spagna in Rome, where he offered an act of veneration to the Blessed Virgin Mary at the Column of the Immaculate Conception.
The Pontiff prayed:
O Mary, our Immaculate Mother, on your feast day I come to you, and I come not alone: I bring with me all those with whom your Son entrusted me, in this city of Rome and in the entire world, that you may bless them and preserve them from harm.
I bring to you, Mother, children, especially those who are alone, abandoned, and for this reason are tricked and exploited. I bring to you, Mother, families, who carry forward life and society with their daily and hidden efforts; in a special way the families who struggle the most for their many internal and external problems.
I bring you, Mother, all workers, men and women, and I entrust to you especially those who, out of need, are forced to work in an unworthy profession and those who have lost work or are unable to find it.
We have need of your immaculate gaze, to rediscover the ability to look upon persons and things with respect and awareness, without egotistical or hypocritical interests.
We have need of your immaculate heart, to love freely, without secondary aims but seeking the good of the other, with simplicity and sincerity, renouncing masks and tricks.
We have need of your immaculate hands, to caress with tenderness, to touch the flesh of Jesus in our poor, sick, or despised brethren, to raise up those who have fallen and support those who waver.
We have need of your immaculate feet, to go toward those who know not how to make the first step, to walk on the paths of those who are lost, to find those who feel alone.
We thank you, O Mother, because in showing yourself to us free of all stain of sin, you remind us that what comes first is the grace of God, the love of Jesus Christ who gave his life for us, the strength of the Holy Spirit which renews all things.
Let us not give in to discouragement, but that, trusting in your constant help, we engage ourselves fully in renewal of self, if this city and of the entire world. Pray for us, Holy Mother of God!
Following the act of veneration, Pope Francis visited the Papal Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, where he prayed before the Marian icon of the Salus Populi Romani (Salvation of the Roman People).
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