PASTORAL VISIT TO THE DIOCESE OF ISCHIA
JOHN PAUL II
Sunday, 5 May 2002
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
1. At the end of this solemn Eucharistic celebration, we turn our gaze to Mary, the All Beautiful One, the creature through whom God came to meet humanity in the most sublime form. Mary is the Ark of the Covenant in which heaven and earth come together: human nature and divine nature are united in the Person of the Son of God. In this splendid island of yours, the gift and sign of the beauty of God, how many churches and chapels are dedicated to her. With how many titles, created by popular devotion, do you invoke Mary.
Speaking of the Rosary, my thoughts go to the city of Pompei, which is only a short distance away. There Bl. Bartolo Longo wished to dedicate a church to Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, which has become the Marian heart of Campania, known throughout the world. When flying over the skies of this beautiful region, I thought with great affection of that beloved shrine to which, God willing, I hope to be able to return because I have only been there once.
I also entrust to Our Lady the peoples of Campania and, especially, the faithful of Ischia, who honour her as the Mistress and Custodian (Castellana) of the Island. With Mary's help, may the beloved Church of Ischia be a shining beacon of Christian faith and charity.
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