Thursday, December 08, 2005

Mary Is Key To Council

Pope Benedict makes his way to the Spanish Steps in Rome where he paid homage to the statue of the Blessed Mother as did his predecessor, Pope John Paul II.
Vatican City, Dec. 08, 2005 (CNA) - During his extensive homily, on the occasion of the feast of the Immaculate Conception, celebrating the same day the 40th anniversary of the closing of the Vatican II Council, Pope Benedict said during the Mass celebrated in Saint Peters Basilica, that the Virgin Mary is “the key” to interpret the council documents. The Holy Father began his homily reminding the 40th anniversary of the closing of the Vatican II council, which happened in the same Basilica of Saint Peters.

“A Marian cornice that surrounds the Council. Really, it is much more than a cornice, it is a complete guiding of its path. It sends us, as the Counciliar Father refered to the image of the Virgin, that lives through the Word of God, that meditates in her heart, the words that come to her from God, which added as in a mosaic, teaches us to understand them.”

The Pope remarked that still remains “ indelible in my memory the moment in which, listening to the words “‘Mariam Sanctissimam declaramus Matrem Ecclesiae’, ‘we declare Mary Most Holy as Mother of the Church,' spontaneously the Fathers of the Church were lifted from their seats and applauded, giving homage to Mary, our Mother, Mother of the Church.”

According to Pope Benedict, “the Council strived to tell us this: Mary is so much linked to the great mystery of the Church, that She and the Church are inseparable as She is from Christ.” In Mary Immaculate, we find the essence of the Church in an unreformed way,” the Pope added. We should learn from her, how to become “ecclesial souls,’ as the counciliar fathers expressed it.

In the evening, on the Spanish square in Rome, Pope Benedict will give homage for the first time in his pontificate to the image of the Immaculate Conception, presenting to her a bouquet of flowers. The Pope looks up to the statue of the Blessed Virgin of the Immaculate Conception in Piazza di Spagna, where he offered her a bouquet of roses and bestowed his apostolic blessings upon the faithful.

An archived 2003 photo of firefighters laying flowers in preparation for the feast of the Immaculate Conception in the Piazza di Spagna in Rome. (from Associate Press via BBC.)
All images from Associated Press.


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