ADDRESS OF THE HOLY FATHER
Wednesday 31 May 2000
1. This moment of faith and devout homage to Mary which concludes the month of May, the Marian month, is always inspiring. You have recited the Holy Rosary as you walked to this Lourdes Grotto, in the centre of the Vatican Gardens. Here, before the image of the Immaculate Virgin, you have put your prayer intentions in her hands, while meditating on the mystery that is celebrated today: Mary's Visitation to St Elizabeth.
In this event, recounted by the Evangelist Luke, a more profound "visitation" appears: God's visit to his people, hailed by the rejoicing of the infant John - the greatest among those born of woman (cf. Mt 11: 11) - even from his mother's womb. The Marian month thus ends with the mark of joy - the second "joyful" mystery - with the mark, that is, of rejoicing, of jubilation.
"Magnificant anima mea Dominum et exultavit spiritus meus in Deo salutari meo" (Lk 1: 46-47). So sings the Virgin of Nazareth as she contemplates the triumph of divine mercy. She bursts into heartfelt joy at the plans of God, who has special fondness for the humble and the lowly, and fills them with his good things. This is jubilation in the Holy Spirit, who will make the Redeemer's own heart exult because the Father is pleased to reveal the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven to children.
2. "Magnificat anima mea Dominum"! So we sing as well this evening, our hearts filled with gratitude to God. We thank him because in this month of May during the Great Jubilee, he has allowed us to experience with special intensity the presence of the Mother of the Redeemer, a constant prayerful presence, as in the early Jerusalem community. May her song of praise become the song of every Christian soul for the great mystery of the love of God, who, in Christ, "visited and redeemed his people" (Lk 1: 68)!
This is my wish at the end of this Marian month and on this vigil of the Ascension of Jesus, who invites us to turn our gaze to heaven where he waits for us, seated at the right hand of the Father.
When you go home, take the joy of this meeting with you and keep the eyes of your heart fixed on Jesus, in the hope of one day being united with him in the same glory. May Mary accompany you on your way with her motherly concern!
With these sentiments, I cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing to all of you present here and to your loved ones.