Saint Peter's Square
Sixth Sunday of Easter, 5 May 2013
At this moment of profound communion
with Christ, we also feel among us the living presence
of the Virgin Mary. It is a motherly presence, a
familial presence, especially for you who are part of
the confraternity. Love for Our Lady is one of the
characteristics of popular devotion that must be
respected and well directed. For this reason, I invite
you to meditate on the last chapter of the Constitution
of the Second Vatican Council on the Church,
Lumen Gentium, which speaks of Mary in the
mystery of Christ and of the Church. There it says that
Mary “advanced in her pilgrimage of faith” (n. 58). Dear
friends, in the
Year of Faith I leave you this icon of Mary the
pilgrim, who follows her Son Jesus and precedes us all
in the journey of faith.
Today the Eastern Churches following the
Julian Calendar are celebrating Easter. I wish to send a
special greeting to these brothers and sisters, uniting
myself with all my heart to them in proclaiming the
joyful news: Christ is Risen! Gathered in prayer around
Mary, let us invoke from God the gift of the Holy
Spirit, the Paraclete, that he may console and comfort
all Christians, especially those celebrating Easter amid
trial and suffering, and guide them on the path of
reconciliation and peace.
Yesterday in Brazil Francisca de Paula
de Jesus, called “Nhá Chica”, was proclaimed Blessed.
Her simple life was totally dedicated to God and to
charity, so much so that she was called “mother of the
poor”. I join in the joy of the Church in Brazil for
this luminous disciple of the Lord.
I greet with affection all the
confraternities present, having come from many
Countries. Thank you for your witness to the faith! I
greet too the parish groups and the families, as well as
the great parade of musical bands and associations of
the Schützen from Germany.
A special greeting goes today to the
“Meter” Association on the National Day for Child
Victims of Violence. And this offers me the occasion to
turn my thoughts to those who have suffered and are
suffering from abuse. I would like to assure them that
they are present in my prayers, but I would like to
strongly declare that we must all commit ourselves with
clarity and courage so that every human person,
especially children, who are among the most vulnerable,
be always defended and protected.
I also encourage those suffering from
pulmonary hypertension and their families.