Mon 1st Sep 2014 | Last updated: Mon 1st Sep 2014 at 15:21pm

Facebook Logo Twitter Logo RSS Logo
Hot Topics

Latest News

Pope entrusts Year of Faith and synod to Mary

By on Thursday, 4 October 2012

Benedict XVI waves outside the Sanctuary of the Holy House in Loreto (Photo: CNS)

Benedict XVI waves outside the Sanctuary of the Holy House in Loreto (Photo: CNS)

Pope Benedict XVI has formally entrusted to Mary the world Synod of Bishops and the Year of Faith during a visit to the Shrine of Our Lady of Loreto.

The Pope was marking the 50th anniversary of Blessed John XXIII’s visit to the Marian shrine, about 175 miles northwest of Rome, when he entrusted to Mary’s care the Second Vatican Council, which began on October 11, 1962.

“Fifty years on, having been called by divine providence to succeed that unforgettable pope to the See of Peter, I, too, have come on pilgrimage to entrust to the Mother of God two important ecclesial initiatives: the Year of Faith,” which is to begin next Thursday, October 11, and the Synod of Bishops, which is to open on Sunday.

About 10,000 people gathered in the square outside the Loreto shrine for the Pope’s morning Mass. Most of the pilgrims stood in the shadow of the shrine, protected from the sun shining in a clear blue sky.

At the end of his homily, Pope Benedict turned to Our Lady of Loreto with several petitions.

“I wish to entrust to the Most Holy Mother of God all the difficulties affecting our world as it seeks serenity and peace,” the Pope said.

He prayed for Mary’s intercession in responding to the “problems of the many families who look anxiously to the future” and for young people just starting to build their adult lives.

The Pope prayed for the poor, lonely and suffering who are “awaiting signs or decisions of solidarity and love”.

And, finally, he returned to the Year of Faith and the synod on new evangelisation, saying: “I also wish to place in the hands of the Mother of God this special time of grace for the Church, now opening up before us.”

With the famous conical statue of Our Lady of Loreto near the altar, Pope Benedict’s homily focused on Mary as the best possible example of following God’s will and bringing Christ to the world.

“She placed her entire being at the disposal of God’s will, becoming the ‘place’ of his presence, a ‘place’ of dwelling for the Son of God,” the Pope said.

When Blessed John visited Loreto 50 years ago, the Pope said, he told people that the aim of the Second Vatican Council was to spread throughout the world the benefits and blessings of God having become human, suffering and dying to redeem humanity.

At a time when the world is struggling with a global financial crisis and crises in many spheres of social life, he said, “the incarnation of the Son of God speaks to us of how important man is to God, and God to man”.

Without God and without faith-inspired values, he said, “man ultimately chooses selfishness over solidarity and love, material things over values, having over being. We must return to God so that man may return to being man.”

Pope Benedict told the crowd that with faith, “even in difficult times or moments of crisis, there is always a horizon of hope: the Incarnation tells us that we are never alone, that God has come to humanity and that he accompanies us.”

United in faith, he said, all men and women become brothers and sisters, caring for and supporting one another.

Often today, he said, people think making a faith commitment means giving up their freedom, when in reality God liberates people from the selfishness and thirst for power that can consume them and harm others.

Just as God wanted Mary to agree to carry his son, “God asks for mankind’s ‘yes’. He has created a free partner in dialogue, one from whom he requests a reply in complete liberty.”

Pope Benedict travelled to and from Loreto by helicopter. After the Mass, he remained for lunch and a rest before a scheduled 5pm return to the Vatican.

  • Hermit

    REMEMBER, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who
    fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left
    unaided.

    St. Bernard of Clairvaux composed the famous prayer to
    the Most Blessed Virgin Mary known as
    The Memorare

  • John McCarthy

    Dear Mother Mary,
                                    Guide the Church during the year of Faith. May it be a wonderful grace filled time.

  • Gildaswiseman

    “I wish to entrust to the Most Holy Mother of God all the difficulties affecting our world as it seeks serenity and peace,”Then dearest Holy Father, consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary with the Bishops of the world in their Cathedrals.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PWZKI7JBARE4DDT3NQ22RWMOJE Benedict Carter

    Yes, this is what has to be done. Foreswear politics and trust the promises of Heaven.

  • Dn.Mushabe Sylanus

    Yes, she is the Victorious Mother, her prayers will lead us to get more graces and the power of the Holy Spirit as it was in the Upper Room and after (Acts 1:13-15). The Church today needs more of her Love, prayers and Motherly care. Deacon M.Sylvanus, Uganda

  • http://calledtoevangelise.wordpress.com/ Roslyn Rajasingam

    After all the sermons and talk about faith and evangelisation, Pope Benedict in his visit to Loreto, has shown us clearly how to respond which is by “focusing on Mary as the best possible example of following God’s will and bringing Christ to the world.”

    Our Lady of the Southern Cross,
    Pray for us.

  • Parasum

     “I wish to entrust to the Most Holy Mother of God all the difficulties
    affecting our world as it seeks serenity and peace,” the Pope said.

    ## “Pax Christi in Regno Christi” – why should the Queen of Heaven favour those who deny or dilute  the Universal Social Kingship of her Son ? We cannot hope for anything on earth from her Queenship, if we do not insist – like the first Christians ! – on the absolute, totalitarian, all-embracing, all-ruling Kingship of her Divine Son, in all political societies as well as in all hearts.

    “Without God and without faith-inspired values, he said, “man ultimately
    chooses selfishness over solidarity and love, material things over
    values, having over being. We must return to God so that man may return
    to being man.””

    ## God is not a gadget for attaining perfect happiness – if God’s service led to nothing but suffering, it would still be the only right choice.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PWZKI7JBARE4DDT3NQ22RWMOJE Benedict Carter

    Thy Kingdom come
    Thy Will be done
    ON EARTH as it is in Heaven …..

  • Sweetjae

    Oh Benedict here is the info you requested cited directly from Webster Dictionary and World Atlas…rest assured I didn’t make it up as you had acussed me of:

    “Church membership in 2007 was 1.131 billion people;[180] an increase over the 1950 figure of 437 million[181] and the 1970 figure of 654 million.[182] The Catholic population increase of 139% outpaced the world population increase of 117% from 1950-2000.[181] It is the largest Christian church, and encompasses over half of all Christians, one sixth of the world’s population, the largest organized body of any world religion.[7][183] It is known for its ability to use its transnational ties and organizational strength to bring significant resources to needy situations[184] and operates the world’s largest non-governmental school system.[185] Although the number of practicing Catholics worldwide is not reliably known,[186] membership is growing particularly in Africa and Asia.[6]”

    Google it….Webster catholic, if you want!