The Vatican

Pope Francis: "Mary carries Life in her womb and thus speaks to us of our future".

Pope Francis prayed the Angelus today, the first day of 2023, on the Solemnity of St. Mary, Mother of God.

Paloma López Campos-January 1, 2023-Reading time: 2 minutes
Pope Solemnity Mass Mother of GOD

Pope Francis during the celebration of the Mass for the Solemnity of the Mother of God (CNS Photo / Paul Haring).

Pope Francis joined the faithful today for the Angelus prayer. As usual, he addressed a few words to the people at the beginning of this new year 2023.

Francis began by mentioning his predecessor, Benedict XVIwho died yesterday morning. Thus, he said: "the beginning of a new year is entrusted to Mary Most Holy, whom we celebrate today as Mother of God. In these hours we invoke her intercession in particular for Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who left this world yesterday morning. We unite all of us together, with one heart and one soul, in giving thanks to God for the gift of this faithful servant of the Gospel and of the Church".

A Mother who does not speak, but teaches

The Holy Father turned his gaze to Mary Most Holy to ask everyone two questions: "With what language does the Blessed Virgin speak to us? What can we learn from her for this year that is opening?"

The Pope is quick to give us the answer: "Mary does not speak. She welcomes with surprise the mystery she is living, she keeps everything in her heart and, above all, she takes care of the Child, who, as the Gospel says, was "lying in the manger" (Lk 2:16). This verb "to lay" means to place with care. And it tells us that Mary's own language is that of motherhood: to take tender care of the Child. This is Mary's greatness: while the angels make a feast, the shepherds come and all praise God aloud for the event that has happened, Mary does not speak, she does not entertain the guests by explaining what has happened to her, she does not steal the limelight; on the contrary, she places the Child at the center, caring for him with love".

With delicacy, the Pope affirmed: "This is the typical language of motherhood: the tenderness of care. In fact, after having carried in their wombs for nine months the gift of a mysterious prodigy, mothers continue to place their children at the center of all their attention: they feed them, hold them in their arms, lay them gently in their cribs. Caring: this is also the language of the Mother of God.

Learning the language of Mary

Francis concluded his message by saying: "Mary carries life in her womb and thus speaks to us of our future. But at the same time she reminds us that, if we really want the new year to be good, if we want to rebuild hope, we must abandon languages, gestures and choices inspired by selfishness and learn the language of love, which is care. This is the commitment: to care for our life, our time, our soul; to care for creation and the environment in which we live; and, what is more, to care for our neighbor, those whom the Lord has placed at our side, as well as our brothers and sisters who are in need and call for our attention and compassion".

Since this challenge cannot be met without help, the Pope asked that "we implore Mary Most Holy, Mother of God, that in this age polluted by distrust and indifference, she may make us capable of compassion and care, capable of 'being moved and stopping before the other as often as necessary' (Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, 169)".

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