(Vatican Radio) Over 100 thousand people came to St Peter’s Square on Sunday to see
Pope Francis entrust the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
The statue of Our Lady of Fatima, which had been brought to the Square the evening before, took centre stage as the Holy Father made an act of Devotion in front of her. In prayer he said, “We are confident that each of us is precious in your sight, guard our lives in your arms: bless and strengthen every desire for goodness.”
It was the culmination of a morning in which the Pope celebrated Mass on this, the feast of Our Lady of Fatima. The devotion to Our Lady was very much in evidence as many of those present held up images of Mary and clasped in their hands miniature statues of Our Lady of Fatima as they listened to the Pope’s homily.
Pope Francis who is well known for his devotion to the Blessed Virgin said that it was a day to consider one of the marvelous things Mary had done, that was “to be chosen to be the Mother of God”.
Taking Sunday’s liturgy as his inspiration, Pope Francis reflected on three things. They were that God surprises us, God asks us to be faithful and God is our strength.
Referring to Mary the Holy Father said God surprised Mary, but despite this she was able to say, “Here I am, the servant of the Lord, be it done onto me according to your word.” The Pope went on to say that God does surprise us, he wreaks havoc with our plans, but he also says “trust me, do not be afraid”.
In his second reflection “God asks us to be faithful” Pope Francis explained that God is loving, but he also “demands that we be faithful in following him”. Mary was that faithful follower, he continued, she said her “yes” to God both in moments of joy and sorrow.” The Holy Father then said, our duty is to “walk with God always, even in moments of weakness, even in our sins. That, he added, is what is means to be “a full-time Christian.”
In his third point, “God is our Strength”, Pope Francis said that Mary gave praise and thanks to God . She did this, the Pope stressed because, “Everything is his gift. He is our strength!” He also underlined the importance of not taking things for granted and asked people to remember, three key words, sorry, excuse me and thank you.
As the statue of Our Lady of Fatima watched over the many thousands in St Peter’s Square, the Pope in his Angelus took the opportunity to say “Thank You” to those who had come from near and far for this weekend of faith dedicated to Mary Our Mother. Listen to Lydia O'Kane's report